nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒07‒31
seven papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura
La Trobe University

  1. Time on the Crossing: Emigrant Voyages across the Atlantic, 1853 to 1913 By Hatton, Timothy J.
  2. Temporary Foreign Work Permits: Honing the Tools to Defeat Human Smuggling By Emmanuelle Auriol; Alice Mesnard; Tiffanie Perrault
  3. Labor Market Competition and Attitudes toward Immigrants: New Evidence from Asia By Lee, Zeewan; Fong, Joelle H.
  4. The economics of Canadian immigration levels By Doyle, Matthew; Skuterud, Mikal; Worswick, Christopher
  5. Is it the Message or the Messenger? Examining Movement in Immigration Beliefs By Hassan Afrouzi; Carolina Arteaga; Emily K. Weisburst
  6. Medical Brain Drain – Assessing the Role of Job Attributes and Individual Traits By Bertoni, Marco; Chattopadhyay, Debdeep; Gu, Yuanyuan
  7. Welfare Reform and Migrant's Long-term Labor Market Integration By Johannes Kunz

  1. By: Hatton, Timothy J. (University of Essex)
    Abstract: From 1860 to 1913 the six colonies that became states of Australia strove to attract migrants from the UK with a variety of assisted passages. The colonies/states shared a common culture and sought migrants from a common source, the UK, but set policy independently of each other. This experience provides a unique opportunity to examine the formation of assisted immigration policies. Using a panel of colonies/states over the years 1862 to 1913 I investigate the association between measures of policy activism and a range of economic and political variables. Assisted migration policies were positively linked with government budget surpluses and local economic prosperity. They were also associated with political participation including the widening of the franchise and remuneration of members of parliament. While the reduction in travel time to Australia reduced the need for assisted migration, slumps in the UK increased the take-up of assisted passages.
    Keywords: transatlantic migration, steam ships, voyage times
    JEL: F22 O33 N73
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Emmanuelle Auriol (Toulouse School of Economics); Alice Mesnard (City University of London); Tiffanie Perrault (McGill University)
    Abstract: We study how temporary visa schemes can be designed to drive smugglers out of business while meeting labor market needs in host countries. After discussing their compatibility with a large range of policy objectives, we show how combining internal and external controls with a regulated market for temporary visas alleviates the policy trade-off between migration control and ending human smuggling. We use information on irregular migration from Senegal to Spain and the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa to calibrate the “eviction†prices of visas for these two routes, which are set to throttle smuggling activities. Our results highlight important constraints for governments seeking to prevent temporary workers from overstaying, especially on south-north routes such as Senegal to Spain. They suggest combining a regulated market for visas with tighter sanctions against employers of undocumented workers as a way forward.
    Keywords: immigration, humansmuggling, marketstructure, legalization
    JEL: F22 I18 L51 O15
    Date: 2023–06
  3. By: Lee, Zeewan; Fong, Joelle H.
    Abstract: Immigrants in a destination country both alter the prospects of economic development and influence the livelihood of natives. Using data from 10 Asian countries in the 2018-2020 World Value Survey (WVS), we provide new evidence regarding the impact of skill-driven labor market competition on natives’ attitudes toward immigrants. Linking information on occupation-specific human capital accumulation from O*NET to WVS, we explore granular dimensions of natives’ skills and their implications for labor market competition and vulnerability. To account for the possibility of reverse causality (selection in natives’ occupational choices resulting from natives’ inherent preferences toward immigrants), we run the two-stage instrumental variable estimator adopting the control function approach. Holding educational levels constant, we find that natives with greater manual skills and fewer communication skills are more likely to be pro-immigration. We also find that the links between manual skills and attitudes are driven primarily by the level of flexibility in natives’ skills, while the negative impacts of communication skills are driven by natives’ writing abilities. Our results offer important insights for policymakers in Asia to establish nuanced immigration policies and skill-development programs that account for their impacts on intergroup labor market competition and social cohesion.
    Keywords: attitudes, immigration, labor market competition, skills, human capital accumulation, control function approach
    JEL: F66 F68 J61 J68
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Doyle, Matthew; Skuterud, Mikal; Worswick, Christopher
    Abstract: In the hope of addressing chronic labour shortages and sluggish economic growth, the Canadian government plans to increase immigration in the coming years to per capita levels not reached since the 1920s. We argue that economic immigration in the Canadian context should aim to boost GDP per capita in the full population including the newcomers. We then examine the potential for increases in Canadian immigration levels to achieve this objective. Our analysis suggests that Canada is not well-positioned to leverage heightened immigration to boost GDP per capita owing primarily to weak capital investment and quantity-quality tradeoffs in immigrant selection. We conclude by providing a framework for identifying the optimal level of economic immigration.
    Keywords: Immigration, economic growth, human capital
    JEL: J61 F22 J24
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Hassan Afrouzi; Carolina Arteaga; Emily K. Weisburst
    Abstract: How do political leaders affect constituents’ beliefs? Is it rhetoric, leader identity, or the interaction of the two that matters? Using a large-scale experiment we decompose the relative importance of partisan messages vs leader sources, in the context of beliefs about immigration. Participants listen to anti-immigrant and pro-immigrant speeches from both Presidents Obama and Trump. These treatments are benchmarked to versions of the speeches recorded by an actor to control for message content, and to non-ideological presidential speeches to control for leader priming. Our findings show that political leader sources influence beliefs beyond the content of their messages in a special case: when leaders deliver unanticipated messages to individuals in their own party. This evidence supports the hypothesis that individuals will “follow their leader” to new policy positions.
    JEL: C90 D83
    Date: 2023–06
  6. By: Bertoni, Marco (University of Padova); Chattopadhyay, Debdeep; Gu, Yuanyuan (Macquarie University, Sydney)
    Abstract: We study physicians' migration intentions by undertaking a Discrete Choice Experiment with senior Italian medical students. Using the mixed logit models, we estimate how much income students are willing to forego for various job characteristics, including the job location. We find that future doctors are willing to sacrifice €13, 500/year on average to remain in their home country. Those with higher willingness to take risks, competitiveness, cognitive skills and altruism levels are more likely to migrate abroad, with implications for the quality of future doctors remaining in their home country. Furthermore, the valuations of several job characteristics differ substantially for jobs located in the home country or abroad, informing the design of job contracts that shall help retain young doctors.
    Keywords: brain drain, medical workforce, job design, personality traits, discrete choice experiments
    JEL: F66 I18 J08
    Date: 2023–06
  7. By: Johannes Kunz (Monash University)
    Abstract: We study the effect of reducing welfare assistance on migrants’ long-term integration in Australia. The policy postponed a migrant’s eligibility for benefits during their first two years in the country. It mainly affected mothers and was announced after their arrival. Using a regression discontinuity design and 21 years of administrative welfare data, we find significant reductions in welfare receipt, where the gap widened over time, and stabilized in the long run. Benefit receipt amounts reduced by 28%, and time-on-benefits by 19%, particularly in the unemployment and disability categories. We observe larger treatment effects for mothers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Keywords: Welfare reform, labor market outcomes, migration, job quality
    JEL: E64 I30 J60
    Date: 2023–06

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