nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒07‒10
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. South-South refugee movements: Do pull factors play a role? By Mauro Lanati; Rainer Thiele
  2. Immigration from a terror-prone nation: destination nation’s optimal immigration and counterterrorism policies By Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Khusrav Gaibulloev; Todd Sandler
  3. Unpacking Moving: A Quantitative Spatial Equilibrium Model with Wealth By Elisa Giannone; Qi Li; Nuno Paixao; Xinle Pang
  4. Free Movement and European Welfare States: Why Child Benefits for EU Workers Should Not Be Exportable By Martin Ruhs; Joakim Palme
  5. The Unintended Consequence of Stringent Immigration Enforcement on Staffing in Nursing Homes: Evidence from Secure Communities By Gunadi, Christian
  6. Tailoring migration policies to address labour shortages By Sommerfeld, Katrin
  7. Immigrant lived experiences of racist nativism and counter-narratives under the Trump administration By Normand, Linn; Negrete, Ambar Hernandez; Torreiro-Casal, Mónica; Lopez, Enrique
  8. Are Immigrants More Left Wing than Natives? By Moriconi, Simone; Peri, Giovanni; Turati, Riccardo
  9. Inequality and Immigration By Christian Dustmann; Yannis Kastis; Ian Preston
  10. Refugee-led organisations and intersectionality: Feminist development policy in the lives of refugees By Motalebi, Nasim; Martin-Shields, Charles

  1. By: Mauro Lanati; Rainer Thiele
    Abstract: Studies analysing the pattern of international refugee flows have so far focussed on movements to OECD destinations, even though the vast majority of refugees live in non-OECD countries. Employing a standard gravity model of international migration, we fill this research gap by investigating the impact of destination country characteristics on south-south refugee movements over the period 2004-2019. Our findings suggest that refugees tend to move to safe neighbouring countries but also positively respond to local pull factors such as relatively high per-capita income levels and the availability of education and health services when choosing their country of destination. Donors have the ability to affect the direction of south-south refugee movements by investing in the social infrastructure of potential destination countries.
    Keywords: South-South Refugee Movements, Gravity Model, Pull Factors, Foreign Aid
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Subhayu Bandyopadhyay; Khusrav Gaibulloev; Todd Sandler
    Abstract: The paper presents a two-country model in which a destination country chooses its immigration quota and proactive counterterrorism actions in response to immigration from a terror-plagued source country. After the destination country fixes its two policies, immigrants decide between supplying labor or conducting terrorist attacks, which helps determine equilibrium labor supply and wages. The analysis accounts for the marginal disutility of lost rights/freedoms stemming from stricter counterterror measures as well the inherent radicalization of migrants. Comparative statics involve changes to those two parameters. For example, an enhanced importance attached to lost rights is shown to limit immigration quotas and counterterrorism actions. In contrast, increased source-country radicalization reduces immigration quotas but has an ambiguous effect on optimal proactive measures. Extensions involving defensive policies and destination-country citizens radicalization are considered.
    Keywords: immigration; terrorism; counterterrorism; rights; freedoms; radicalization; labor market equilibrium
    JEL: H56 F22 H87
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Elisa Giannone; Qi Li; Nuno Paixao; Xinle Pang
    Abstract: We argue that the interaction between mobility and wealth provides a view that rationalizes low geographic migration rates, despite migration costs being lower than currently thought. We reach this conclusion by developing and solving a quantitative dynamic spatial equilibrium model with endogenous wealth accumulated through liquid and illiquid assets. We estimate a yearly moving cost between Canadian cities of 196, 303 CAD for an average adult, substantially lower than previous estimates. To demonstrate the model’s validity, we study policies advocated to reduce disparities: Do moving vouchers or housing affordability policies enhance welfare, especially for the poor? Our findings suggest that moving vouchers only marginally increase the welfare of eligible households, and those who receive the vouchers tend to move to locations with lower house prices and wages. In contrast, our model shows that lower housing regulations in Vancouver can decrease the welfare gap between rich and poor by lowering house prices nationwide through spatial reallocation. Thus, the insurance value of living in high-income cities becomes higher, reducing the incentive for low-wealth families to move precautionarily to locations with low housing costs.
    Keywords: Housing; Regional economic developments
    JEL: G51 R13 R2 R31 R52
    Date: 2023–06
  4. By: Martin Ruhs; Joakim Palme
    Abstract: The regulation of the free movement of workers in the European Union (EU), and specifically EU (migrant) workers’ access to welfare benefits in the host country, has generated considerable political conflicts within and across EU Member States in recent years. These conflicts have the potential to threaten the future political sustainability of unrestricted intra-EU labour mobility and broader processes of European integration. In this paper, we provide an institutional analysis of one specific issue that has been at the heart of these debates: the exportability of child benefits. Under the current EU rules, ‘EU workers’ (i.e. mobile EU citizens who live and work in a Member State where they do not hold national citizenship) can “export” family benefits to their children and other family members resident in the home country. A number of EU countries have demanded a change to these rules. We argue that the political conflicts about exporting child benefits are, at least in part, due to a fundamental tension between the ‘employment-based’ institutional logic that regulates EU workers’ access to child and family benefits and the ‘residence-based’ institutional logic that underpins family policy in all Member States. To reduce this tension, we make the case for changing the principles for coordinating EU workers’ access to welfare benefits, which would mean, as a consequence, that the exportability of child benefits would no longer apply. It is the country where the child lives, rather than the country where the working parent/spouse (‘breadwinner’) is employed that should bear the responsibility for providing child benefits.
    Date: 2023–11
  5. By: Gunadi, Christian
    Abstract: The provision of healthcare in the United States is increasingly more reliant on immigrant workers. In this paper, I examine the impact of Secure Communities, a major immigration enforcement program that was designed to check the immigration status of all individuals arrested by local police, on staffing in nursing homes. Using difference-in-differences strategy that exploits staggered activation of Secure Communities across U.S counties, I found that the program reduced direct-care staff hours per resident day by 0.082, an approximately 2.2% decline relative to the mean of treatment counties in the baseline period. This finding suggests that stringent immigration enforcement may exacerbate the healthcare worker shortage in the United States.
    Keywords: Staffing, Nursing Homes, Secure Communities, Immigration
    JEL: K37 J61 I11 J2 J15
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Sommerfeld, Katrin
    Abstract: Labour markets in the European Union are increasingly facing labour shortages. This ZEW Policy Brief argues that immigration from third countries should be increased to alleviate bottlenecks in the supply of workers to the economy. On the one hand, immigration policies should target high-skilled individuals and those trained in shortage occupations and allow them to search for a job from within the EU. On the other hand, low-skilled employees also appear to contribute to mitigating labour shortages. This is because labour shortages are also present in some low-skill occupations, and because additional immigrant workers could "free up" native workers to work in shortage occupations or push natives into better jobs. Therefore, this ZEW policy brief recommends enabling the immigration of such individuals when they have a job offer available. Broader policy measures should be put into place to facilitate the recognition of foreign qualifications.
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Normand, Linn; Negrete, Ambar Hernandez; Torreiro-Casal, Mónica; Lopez, Enrique
    Abstract: This article places immigrant lived experiences at the center of its analysis and highlights the counter-narratives of minority immigrant communities in America under the Trump administration. While scholarship exists on analyzing the rise of hate-narratives during the Trump administration, less scholarly attention has been paid to how immigrants experience and respond to this anti-immigrant climate. The narratives were collected in an anonymous survey from more than three-hundred immigrants, predominantly immigrants of color. Drawing on the conceptual framework of racist nativism, the study contextualizes these experiences in light of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. It examines not just the lived experiences of increasingly explicit anti-immigration rhetoric and behaviors, but also the counter-narratives of how immigrant communities understand and navigate these. Its novelty lies in voicing the strength, resistance and resilience among immigrants despite their dehumanizing circumstances. The paper thereby contributes by drawing on the voices and stories from the immigrants themselves to provide a deeper and more nuanced understanding of their lived experiences under the Trump administration.
    Date: 2023–05–13
  8. By: Moriconi, Simone (IÉSEG School of Management); Peri, Giovanni (University of California, Davis); Turati, Riccardo (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: We analyze whether second-generation immigrants have different political preferences relative to children of citizens. Using data on individual voting behavior in 22 European countries between 2001 and 2017, we characterize each vote on a left-right scale based on the ideological and policy positions of the party. First, we describe and characterize the size of the "left-wing bias" in the vote of second-generation immigrants after controlling for a large set of individual characteristics and origin and destination country fixed effects. We find a significant left-wing bias of second-generation immigrants, similar in magnitude to the left-wing bias of those with a secondary, relative to a primary, education. We then show that this left-wing bias is associated with stronger preferences for inequality-reducing government intervention, internationalism and multiculturalism. We find only weak evidence that second-generation immigrants are biased away from populist political agendas and no evidence that they have stronger preferences for pro-immigrant policies. Finally, we show that growing up with a father who is struggling to integrate into the labor market is a strong predictor of this left-wing bias.
    Keywords: immigration, elections, Europe
    JEL: D72 J61 P16 Z1
    Date: 2023–05
  9. By: Christian Dustmann; Yannis Kastis; Ian Preston
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between immigration and inequality in the UK over the past forty years. This is a period when the share of foreign-born in the UK population increased from 5.3% in 1975 to 13.4% in 2015. We evaluate the impact immigration had on wage inequality in the UK through two channels: the first is the effect on the earnings distribution of the natives and the second is the effect on the composition of the wage-earning population. We find both effects to be very small. We decompose wage inequality into inequality within the immigrant and native group and inequality between the two groups. We find inequality among immigrants to be consistently higher than inequality among natives. We also examine the impact of immigration on the fiscal budget, and the potentially unequal impact of the ensuing tax implications on natives. In the UK, where immigrants are net fiscal contributors, this is not a factor that aggravates economic inequality. Even though the impact of immigration is found to be small, the way it is perceived across different population groups in the UK varies; a fact mostly attributed to racial and cultural concerns rather than perceived economic competition.
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Motalebi, Nasim; Martin-Shields, Charles
    Abstract: This policy brief outlines how feminist development policy can be locally enacted by taking an intersectional approach to the provision of assistance to refugees and displaced persons. Refugee-led organisations (RLOs) play a key role in providing collective services, particularly in contexts where the host government is unlikely or unwilling to provide access to local social services. This is especially true in non-camp settings, and as global refugee policy moves away from encampment as a response to refugees the role of RLOs in refugees' daily lives will only increase. While RLOs are an important part of life in a refugee community, they can be especially useful in supporting the needs of women, children, LGBTIQ refugees, ethnic minorities and diverse-ability refugees across multiple refugee communities city- or region-wide. Taking an intersectional approach to understanding the role of RLOs, in particular RLOs led by women, can help policy-makers identify networks of local actors who can effectively meet the social needs of all members of a local refugee community, including those who face particular marginalisation due to gender, sexual, religious or ethnic identity. The intersectional approach to working with RLOs focuses on meeting the needs of marginalised identity groups across the entire refugee population in a city or region. For example, refugees representing multiple ethnic groups or nationalities might have their own ethnic or national RLO, but that RLO may not be able to meet the unique needs of women, children, LGBTIQ and religious minorities within the community. An inter-sectional approach means engaging all the RLOs in a city or region to meet the social, health and protection needs of marginalised community members, with the understanding that in doing so the wider needs of all community members will be met. RLOs are part of a wider ecosystem of services and organisations that support refugees, and while they play a unique role in enacting feminist development policy for refugees, they have limitations. Policy-makers should engage them alongside official authorities from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the host country government when possible. Given the challenges and opportunities that come with taking an intersectional approach to meeting refugees' needs through engagement with women-led RLOs, we offer the following recommendations to policy-makers: Funding RLOs in situations where refugees have no legal status is challenging. In many cases, RLOs can provide intersectional social services, but often need funding to do so. Donors can localise their programming by funding NGOs that collaborate with RLOs, and allowing NGOs to redistribute funding to their RLO partners. Trusting RLOs as a mediator for connecting refugees to official protection and legal services. Refugees living in situations where they may not have legal status often trust RLOs more than they do official agencies such as UNHCR. Donors can therefore support RLOs in providing protection against hostile legal environments for asylum seekers. Mitigating risks associated with RLOs' ethnic, national, and religious biases. RLOs come with their own limitations and problems. They are often informal institutions, and in many cases lack UNHCR's legal status. Since they are community-based, they can also at times replicate existing biases within an ethnic or national community. Donors should be aware of this risk when working with RLOs.
    Keywords: forced displacement and migration, gender
    Date: 2023

This nep-mig issue is ©2023 by Yuji Tamura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.