nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒08‒28
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Why Is the Roy-Borjas Model Unable to Predict International Migrant Selection on Education? Evidence from Urban and Rural Mexico By Stefan Leopold; Jens Ruhose; Simon Wiederhold
  2. Migration and trust: Evidence on assimilation from internal migrants By Diego Marino Fages
  3. Is Self-Employment for Migrants? Evidence from Italy By Brunetti, Marianna; Zaiceva, Anzelika
  4. Intergenerational Power Shift and the Rise of Non-arranged Marriages among Refugees By Foster, Andrew; Gökçe, Merve Betül; Kirdar, Murat G.
  5. Information campaigns and migration perceptions By Erminia Florio
  6. Permanent Residency and Refugee Immigrants’ Skill Investment By Jacob Nielsen Arendt; Christian Dustmann; Hyejin Ku
  7. Urban and Regional Migration Estimates: Will Your City Recover from the Pandemic? By Stephan D. Whitaker
  8. International Migrants and Indigenous Residents in the Russian Labor Market: An Empirical Analysis Based on Labor Force Survey Data By Kartseva Marina A. (Карцева Марина); Florinskaya Julia F. (Флоринская Юлия)
  9. Back to Work: The Unequal Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ecuador's Labor Market By Olivieri, Sergio; Ortega, Francesc; Rivadeneira, Ana
  10. Work-life Conflicts of Native and Immigrant Women in Japan By HAGIWARA Risa; LIU Yang

  1. By: Stefan Leopold; Jens Ruhose; Simon Wiederhold
    Abstract: The Roy-Borjas model predicts that international migrants are less educated than nonmigrants because the returns to education are generally higher in developing (migrant-sending) than in developed (migrant-receiving) countries. However, empirical evidence often shows the opposite. Using the case of Mexico-U.S. migration, we show that this inconsistency between predictions and empirical evidence can be resolved when the human capital of migrants is assessed using a two-dimensional measure of occupational skills rather than by educational attainment. Thus, focusing on a single skill dimension when investigating migrant selection can lead to misleading conclusions about the underlying economic incentives and behavioural models of migration.
    Keywords: international migration, selection, occupational skills, education
    JEL: F22 O15 J61 J24
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Diego Marino Fages
    Abstract: I study whether internal migrants assimilate culturally to the locals. Investigating this question with observational data has been challenging because it requires disentangling assimilation from sorting and because data on immigrants before migrating is typically not available. I overcome this challenge by studying the Swiss context, which provides an ideal setting for two reasons. First, as a result of its history, Switzerland presents substantial cultural differences between its regions. Second, the Swiss Household Panel tracks individuals for a long period before and after they move. I exploit these two features to compare early and late migrants in a difference-in-difference framework. I focus specifically on trust in strangers, one of the most important components of culture and which has been shown to predict growth and other desirable economic, social and political outcomes. I find a statistically and economically significant evidence on assimilation of migrants moving to higher and lower trust cantons, and this assimilation starts in the first few years. Finally, using the Sorted Effects Method, I find that assimilation is driven by the youngest immigrants, which is in line with the impressionable years hypothesis in psychology.
    Keywords: Trust, Assimilation, Migration, Switzerland, Impressionable years hypothesis
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Brunetti, Marianna (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Zaiceva, Anzelika (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)
    Abstract: Using a unique Italian dataset covering the period 2004-2020, we assess the immigrant-native gap in entrepreneurship and investigate channels behind it. The data allows us to account for many observable characteristics as well as for risk aversion, which is usually not observed, yet crucial for the self-employment decision. Unlike most of the existing empirical literature, we find that immigrants in Italy are less likely to be self-employed. The negative gap is confirmed when propensity score matching methodology is used. Heterogeneity analysis suggests that the negative gap is larger for men, for economic migrants and those coming from Sub-Saharan Africa, while it is not significant for mixed immigrant-native couples, for highly skilled, and for migrants from Asia and Oceania. The largest gap is found for those working in the agricultural sector. Regarding additional channels, we explore the role of access to credit, including the informal one, and whether migrants are credit constrained, as well as the importance of migrant networks, easiness of doing business, and expenditures on services for migrants. Despite finding significant correlations between self-employment and some of these factors, none of them seem to decrease the magnitude of the negative gap.
    Keywords: immigrants, self-employment, gender, intermarriage, propensity score matching
    JEL: F22 J21 O15 J15
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Foster, Andrew (Brown University); Gökçe, Merve Betül (Bogazici University); Kirdar, Murat G. (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: The experience of war and refugee status can alter intra-family dynamics and therefore have implications for family formation, including marriage. This study investigates marriage patterns among Syrian refugees in Turkey. Utilizing the nationally representative 2018 Turkey Demographic Health Survey (TDHS), we conduct a duration analysis of marriage outcomes among Syrian refugees in Turkey—tracking women throughout their residence in prewar Syria, postwar Syria, and Turkey. We find that early marriage is more prominent among refugees who were unmarried at the time of migration than those married before migration; the mean marriage age drops from 19.6 in prewar Syria to 19.1 in postwar Syria and 18.1 in Turkey. Using the TDHS and prewar Syrian surveys, we show that this finding aligns with the observed declines in household income and young women's opportunity cost of marriage. Our duration analysis also reveals a notable shift from traditional arranged marriages to more modern forms among refugees in Turkey. An intergenerational power shift may drive the shift toward non-arranged marriages. After arrival in Turkey, parental wealth and employment decline. In contrast, Syrian youth have higher age-adjusted employment rates than in prewar Syria. Moreover, for demographic groups with stronger intergenerational power shifts, non-arranged marriages increase more.
    Keywords: Syrian refugees, forced migration, arranged marriage, generational power transitions, Turkey
    JEL: J12 J15
    Date: 2023–07
  5. By: Erminia Florio (University of Rome "Tor Vergata" & HEC Montréal)
    Abstract: The research studies the effect of information campaigns on migration on perceptions and intentions to migrate among high school students in Dakar, Senegal. Through a randomized experiment, I analyze the role of expectations, migration perceptions, and intention to migrate and assess if (and, if so, which) actors and information content are effective the most in shaping students’ migration intention and perceptions. I find that students display a high level of distrust in domestic labor markets, and the information treatment with an external expert reduces the misperceptions on some measures of labor market statistics but has no effect on the perception of the illegal journey. In addition, narratives reduce the willingness to migrate illegally, but none of the treatments has impacts on the intention to migrate. The effect of narratives is stronger for students with close family members abroad.
    Keywords: Migration intentions, information provision, expectations
    JEL: O15 D83 F22
    Date: 2023–07–31
  6. By: Jacob Nielsen Arendt; Christian Dustmann; Hyejin Ku
    Abstract: We analyze an immigration reform in Denmark that tightened refugee immigrants’ eligibility criteria for permanent residency to incentivize their labor market attachment and acquisition of local language skills. Contrary to what the reform intended, the overall employment of those affected decreased while their average language proficiency remained largely unchanged. This was caused by a disincentive effect, where individuals with low pre-reform labor market performance reduced their labor supply. Our findings suggest that stricter permanent residency rules, rather than incentivizing refugees’ skill investment, may decrease the efforts of those who believe they cannot meet the new requirements.
    Keywords: immigrant assimilation, refugee integration, labor supply, language proficiency, human capital
    JEL: J22 J24 J61
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Stephan D. Whitaker
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive change in the movement of people at both the neighborhood and the regional levels in the United States. New migration estimates will enable us to track which urban neighborhoods and metro areas are returning to their old migration patterns and where the pandemic has permanently shifted migration trends.
    Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Urban economics; Public health - Economic aspects
    Date: 2023–08–03
  8. By: Kartseva Marina A. (Карцева Марина) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); Florinskaya Julia F. (Флоринская Юлия) (The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
    Abstract: Millions of international migrants are living in Russia today. This paper, based on Rosstat’s “Selective Observation of Migrant Labor” survey conducted in 2019, provides an econometric comparative analysis of the labor market situation for migrants arriving to Russia since 1992 vs. the local population. The migrants’ situation is compared by multiple indicators, depending on the duration of their residence in Russia – less than one year; one to five years; 5 years or more. It is demonstrated that the migration has no statistically significant effect on the availability of paid employment. At the same time, the sectoral structure of employment, as well as the structure of employment in terms of occupational groups, show significant differences depending on the period of migrants’ stay in Russia. Recent migrants, living in Russia for less than 5 years, are significantly more likely to work in construction and trade, and much less likely to go into healthcare, education, or public administration, compared to those who have been living in Russia for more than 5 years. At the same time, old-timer migrants are much more likely to be middle or top-level specialists, or to hold managerial positions. The most notable differences between the situations of recent and old-timer migrants, as well as the locals, can be observed in labor relations between the employee and the employer. All other things being equal, recent migrants are significantly more likely to have no formal employment contract, as opposed to old-timer migrants or the locals. The longer the migrants stay in Russia, the more they adapt to the Russian labor market, and with a sufficiently long period of residence, the labor market shows almost no difference between the situations of migrants and the locals.
    Keywords: migrants, labor market, employment structure, duration of stay
    JEL: J61 R23
    Date: 2022–10
  9. By: Olivieri, Sergio (World Bank); Ortega, Francesc (Queens College, CUNY); Rivadeneira, Ana (World Bank)
    Abstract: Using the 2021 and 2022 HFPS for Ecuador, the paper investigates the labor market trajectories of different socio-economic groups. The analysis shows that the employment of older individuals, less-educated workers, and women fell disproportionately. However, while the recovery between 2021 and 2022 was slower for the first two groups, females experienced a faster rebound, even though still remained below pre-pandemic levels. The estimates also suggest that the recovery was slower for parents, despite the practically complete return to in-person instruction. The paper's more novel findings refer to the employment of Venezuelan migrants. The pandemic lowered their employment rate by a similar magnitude as for Ecuadorians. However, between 2021 and 2022, the employment and average work hours of Venezuelan migrants increased substantially faster than for natives, possibly because of their lower ability to rely on savings. The data also show that most of the increase in their labor supply stemmed from Venezuelan households without children, suggesting that Venezuelan families were less able to cope with the uncertainty associated with the return to in-person schooling.
    Keywords: migration, COVID-19, Ecuador, forced migration, Venezuelans
    JEL: O15 J61 D3
    Date: 2023–07
  10. By: HAGIWARA Risa; LIU Yang
    Abstract: This study aims to examine work-life conflicts among married native and immigrant women in Japan. In an increasingly multicultural society like Japan, understanding the labor force participation and familial roles of different demographic groups, especially married women, could provide significant social and economic implications. Using a Bivariate probit model, the study simultaneously estimates the determinants of employment status and having children. The 2010 individual data from the Population Census, provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, serve as the basis for analysis. The findings reveal a negative correlation between labor force participation and having young children for both native and immigrant women. Among employed women, native mothers of young children tend to hold regular, high-skilled positions, while immigrant mothers are more likely to engage in non-regular, low-skilled jobs. It is indicated that both native and immigrant women in Japan may struggle to balance labor force participation and child-rearing responsibilities. Notably, the choice of job type and childcare balance appears to vary between these two demographic groups, with immigrant women potentially facing greater challenges in maintaining quality employment alongside childcare. These findings suggest the necessity for targeted policy and practice interventions, which could enhance workforce integration and family support for immigrant women in Japan, thereby addressing the demographic's unique work-life balance issues.
    Date: 2023–07

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.
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