nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒10‒09
four papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. The Effect of Immigration Policy on Founding Location Choice: Evidence from Canada's Start-up Visa Program By Saerom (Ronnie) Lee; Britta Glennon
  2. Floating Population: Migration With(Out) Family and the Spatial Distribution of Economic Activity By Clément Imbert; Joan Monras; Marlon Seror; Yanos Zylberberg
  3. Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes toward Refugees in Uganda By Travis Baseler; Thomas Ginn; Robert Hakiza; Helidah Ogude-Chambert; Olivia Woldemikael
  4. Charting the Course: How Does Information about Sea Level Rise Affect the Willingness to Migrate? By Laura Bakkensen; Quynh Nquyen; Toan Phan; Paul Shuler

  1. By: Saerom (Ronnie) Lee; Britta Glennon
    Abstract: To spur entrepreneurship and economic growth, an increasing number of countries have introduced immigration policies that provide visas to skilled entrepreneurs. This paper investigates whether these policies influence the founding location choice of immigrant founders, by leveraging the introduction of Canada's Start-up Visa Program in 2013. We demonstrate that this immigration policy increased the likelihood that U.S.-based immigrants have a start-up in Canada by 69%. Our results show that Asian immigrants (who have a higher representation in Canada than in the U.S.) are disproportionately more likely to migrate to Canada to start their businesses, whereas Hispanic immigrants (who have a smaller representation in Canada than in the U.S.) are less inclined to do so. We also find that this propensity varies with the size of co-ethnic immigrant communities in the origin location. Overall, our study unveils the importance of immigration policies in determining founding location choice and has important implications for countries competing for global talent.
    JEL: F20 F22 J60 M13
    Date: 2023–08
  2. By: Clément Imbert; Joan Monras; Marlon Seror; Yanos Zylberberg
    Abstract: This paper argues that migrants’ decision to bring their dependent family members shapes their consumption behavior, their choice of destination, and their sensitivity to migration barriers. We document that in China: (i) rural migrants disproportionately move to expensive cities; (ii) in these cities they live without their family and in poorer housing conditions; and (iii) they remit more, especially when living without their family. We then develop a quantitative general equilibrium spatial model in which migrant households choose whether, how (with or without their family), and where to migrate. We estimate the model using plausibly exogenous variation in wages, housing prices, and exposure to family migration costs. We use the model to estimate migration costs and relate them to migration policy. We find that hukou policies protect workers in large, expensive, and high income cities at the expense of rural households, who use remittances to overcome some of these costs.
    Keywords: migration; remittances; economic geography; spatial equilibrium
    JEL: R12 J61 O15
    Date: 2023–08–30
  3. By: Travis Baseler (University of Rochester); Thomas Ginn (Center for Global Development); Robert Hakiza (Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID)); Helidah Ogude-Chambert (University of Oxford); Olivia Woldemikael (Harvard University)
    Abstract: Many public policies create (perceived) winners and losers, but there is little evidence on whether redistribution can support new political economy equilibria that raise aggregate welfare. We conduct a randomized controlled trial in Kampala, Uganda studying foreign aid programs for Ugandans which are explicitly connected to the refugee presence. Cash grants labeled as part of the refugee aid response substantially increase support for admitting more refugees and allowing them to work and integrate. Sharing information about public goods funded by the refugee response has smaller, though still significant, effects. Impacts persist for at least two years and are associated with changing beliefs about the economic effects of refugees. We find minimal impacts of intergroup contact, implemented as business mentorship by an experienced refugee. Overall, our results suggest that economic interventions can meaningfully shape policy views when the connection between the policy and the assistance is salient.
    Keywords: Refugees, Political Economy of Aid, Firms & Productivity, Post-Conflict, Welfare
    JEL: D74 D83 I38 O12
    Date: 2023–05–04
  4. By: Laura Bakkensen; Quynh Nquyen; Toan Phan; Paul Shuler
    Abstract: An important yet less studied factor in determining the extent of adaptation to climate change is information: are people adequately informed about their vulnerability to future climate-related risks, and does their willingness to adapt depend on this knowledge? Focusing on how communication about projected sea level rise (SLR) affects the willingness to migrate, we implemented a large randomized control survey experiment with a nationally representative sample of more than 7, 000 respondents across all provinces in Vietnam. We randomly assign respondents to different information treatments. We find that providing a simple text-based information treatment about the general extent of Vietnam's exposure to projected SLR increases all respondents' willingness to migrate (including respondents living in areas not vulnerable to SLR). However, a more spatially precise map information treatment—providing the general text along with a map showing Vietnam's projected SLR exposure—leads to a more targeted effect: it only significantly increases the willingness to migrate of respondents currently residing in vulnerable areas. Finally, adding doubt to the information treatments—mentioning an official repudiation of the scientific projection of SLR—does not reduce the treatments' impact. Our findings are inconsistent with the commonly used perfect information benchmark, which assumes that people are fully informed about future climate-related risks. They also highlight the importance of providing spatially precise information in facilitating climate adaptation.
    Keywords: climate change; sea level rise; migration; disaster risk communication; survey experiment; public information
    JEL: Q5
    Date: 2023–09–14

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