nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants by Refugee Status: An Analysis of Linked Landing Files and Tax Records By Adnan, Wifag; Zhang, Jonathan; Zheng, Angela
  2. The Refugee Advantage: English-Language Attainment in the Early Twentieth Century By Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Peter Catron; Dylan Connor; Rob Voigt
  3. A Bad Break-up? Assessing the Effects of the 2016 Brexit Referendum on Migration By Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna; Homburg, Ines; James, Jonathan; Vujic, Suncica
  4. Long-term Effects of Weather-induced Migration on Urban Labor and Housing Markets By Busso, Matías; Chauvin, Juan Pablo
  5. The Effects of Exposure to Refugees on Crime: Evidence from the Greek Islands By Rigissa Megalokonomou; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
  6. The Effects of Maria Migrants on the Financial Health of the Residents of Central Florida By Braga, Breno; Elliott, Diana
  7. Temporary Border Controls and the Stock Market: Evidence from the Schengen Area By Adam Levai; Jean-François Maystadt
  8. Addressing forced displacement in climate change adaptation: No longer a blind spot By OECD
  9. The effect of the social environment during childhood on preferences in adulthood By Johannes Abeler; Toke Reinholt Fosgaard; Lars Garn Hansen

  1. By: Adnan, Wifag (New York University, Abu Dhabi); Zhang, Jonathan (McMaster University); Zheng, Angela (McMaster University)
    Abstract: A large literature shows that the children of immigrants have high upward mobility. However, immigrants vary vastly in how they are selected: while economic immigrants are chosen based on skill and education, refugees migrate at times of conflict and war. In this paper, we study on the mobility of immigrants by admission class. Using administrative data linking the universe of immigrant landing documents with tax records in Canada, we estimate intergenerational mobility outcomes by refugee status. We find that for immigrant parents at the 25th percentile of the income distribution, refugee children have an expected rank of 47 percentiles, while the corresponding estimate for non-refugee children is 51 percentiles. Approximately 60% of this gap can be explained by differences in parental attributes upon arrival, indicating that selection contributes to higher mobility. Finally, we show that when correcting for the underplacement of immigrant parents, the absolute upward mobility of refugees at p25 is largely unaffected while that of non-refugees falls by around 2 percentiles.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility, refugees, immigration
    JEL: J61 J62 J15
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Ran Abramitzky; Leah Platt Boustan; Peter Catron; Dylan Connor; Rob Voigt
    Abstract: The United States has admitted more than 3 million refugees since 1980 through official refugee resettlement programs. Scholars attribute the success of refugee groups to governmental programs on assimilation and integration. Before 1948, however, refugees arrived without formal selection processes or federal support. We examine the integration of historical refugees using a large archive of recorded oral history interviews to understand linguistic attainment of migrants who arrived in the early twentieth century. Using fine-grained measures of vocabulary, syntax and accented speech, we find that refugee migrants achieved a greater depth of English vocabulary than did economic/family migrants, a finding that holds even when comparing migrants from the same country of origin or religious group. This study improves on previous research on immigrant language acquisition and refugee incorporation, which typically rely on self-reported measures of fluency. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that refugees had greater exposure to English or more incentive to learn, due to the conditions of their arrival and their inability to immediately return to their origin country.
    JEL: J15 N32
    Date: 2023–09
  3. By: Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna (University of Bath); Homburg, Ines (University of Antwerp); James, Jonathan (University of Bath); Vujic, Suncica (University of Antwerp)
    Abstract: By voting to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) set off a long period of uncertainty and signalled its support for the Leave campaigns, which centred around restricting migration. This paper researches how this decision affected EU-UK migration patterns. We exploit the Brexit referendum as a natural experiment and employ a (synthetic) difference-in-differences estimator to compare EU migration (treated) to non-EU migration (untreated) in the UK. We find a significant decrease in the inflow of EU migrants, although the reduction seems too small to have any impact on the migrant stock. We further find a significant persistent rise in British citizenship applications and grants. Our results reveal that the referendum made the UK a less attractive destination and that the EU migrants already in the UK were encouraged to obtain British citizenship. The Brexit-induced policy uncertainty was the key driver affecting migrants' decision-making.
    Keywords: Brexit referendum, international migration, European Union, uncertainty, anti-immigration
    JEL: F22 J61 J48
    Date: 2023–09
  4. By: Busso, Matías; Chauvin, Juan Pablo
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of weather-induced rural-urban migration on urban labor and housing markets in Brazil. In order to identify causal effects, it uses weather shocks to the rural municipalities of origin of migrants. We show that larger migration shocks led to an increase in employment growth and a reduction in wage growth of 4 and 5 percent, respectively. The increased migration flows also affected the housing market in destination cities. On average, it led to 1 percent faster growth of the housing stock, accompanied by 5 percent faster growth in housing rents. These effects vary sharply by housing quality. We find a substantial positive effect on the growth rates of the most precarious housing units (with no effect on rents) and a negative effect on the growth of higher-quality housing units (with a positive effect on rents). This suggests that rural immigration growth slowed down housing-quality upgrading in destination cities.
    Keywords: Weather-induced migration;Rural-urban migration;Urban labor markets;Urban housing markets;developing countries
    JEL: J46 J61 O18 R23
    Date: 2023–01
  5. By: Rigissa Megalokonomou (Monash University, Monash Business School, Department of Economics, IZA and CESifo); Chrysovalantis Vasilakis (University of Bangor, Business School)
    Abstract: Recent political instability in the Middle East has triggered one of the largest influxes of refugees into Europe. The different departure points along the Turkish coast generate exogenous variation in refugee arrivals across Greek islands. We construct a new dataset on the number and nature of crime incidents and arrested offenders at island level using official police records and newspaper reports. Instrumental variables and difference-in-differences are employed to study the causal relationship between immigration and crime. We find that a 1-percentage-point increase in the share of refugees on destination islands increases crime incidents by 1.7-2.5 percentage points compared with neighboring unexposed islands. This is driven by crime incidents committed by refugees; there is no change in crimes committed by natives on those islands. We find a significant rise in property crime, knife attacks, and rape, but no increase in drug crimes. Results based on reported crimes exhibit a similar pattern. Our findings highlight the need for government provision in terms of infrastructure, social benefits, quicker evaluation for asylum, and social security.
    Keywords: rime, migration, natural experiment, Greek islands, difference-in-differences
    JEL: F61 F22 K42 J15
    Date: 2023–10
  6. By: Braga, Breno (Urban Institute); Elliott, Diana (Population Reference Bureau)
    Abstract: The influx of climate migrants could challenge many communities in the coming decades. In this study, we estimate the effects of Puerto Rican migration on the financial health of residents in receiving communities after Hurricane Maria. On the one hand, migrants can compete for jobs or crowd out access to governmental safety net programs, contributing to declines in the financial health of residents of the hosting communities. On the other hand, migrants might fill labor market needs and increase the consumption of locally produced goods, helping to stimulate the community's economy. We find little evidence that Puerto Rican migrants negatively impacted the credit health outcomes – such as credit scores and delinquency rates - of residents in receiving communities, even three years after their arrival. On the contrary, existing homeowners in Hispanic communities in Central Florida improved their financial well-being after the arrival of migrants. To help explain this finding, we show suggestive evidence that homeowners might have financially benefited from an increase in their housing value after the arrival of migrants.
    Keywords: migration, financial health, housing markets
    JEL: G51 R23 I31
    Date: 2023–09
  7. By: Adam Levai (Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)); Jean-François Maystadt (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of temporary border controls on the stock market. We construct a new dataset on the reintroduction of border controls by collecting data from official documents. We use these data in two complementary research designs. First, we conduct a quasi-experimental event study using the first refugee-induced border control, which occurred in Germany in September 2015. Second, we conduct a Schengen area analysis covering all border controls between 2006 and 2016, using both a difference-in-difference and a synthetic control method. In both analyses, we find a small negative and short-lived effect on daily stock returns, as well as an increase in their short-lived volatility. These effects are driven by medium and large firms, which are more likely to be involved in cross-border activities. Overall, we find that these border controls initially mildly worsen market expectations, but the market does not overreact by interpreting them as a sign of a possible collapse of the Schengen Agreement.
    Keywords: Borders, Border Controls, Schengen, Stock Market, Refugees
    JEL: F20 F55 G14 O52
    Date: 2023–09–10
  8. By: OECD
    Abstract: This paper shows that climate-related forced displacement is insufficiently addressed in two fundamental commitments made towards the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) between 2015 and 2023: National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It describes the important role NAPs and NDCs play in prioritising the tackling of certain aspects of climate change adaptation, identifies gaps on forced displacement, and proposes ways of adding it among their policy objectives, and of mobilising finance to reach them.
    Keywords: adaptation, climate change, conflict, disasters, forced displacement, fragility, global compact on refugees, HDP nexus, internally displaced persons, refugees
    JEL: F01 J60 J68 O10 O19 O21 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2023–10–09
  9. By: Johannes Abeler (Department of Economics, University of Oxford); Toke Reinholt Fosgaard (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen; Department of Technology, Management and Economics, Technical University of Denmark); Lars Garn Hansen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Preferences are key for shaping decision-making, yet it remains an open question where preferences originate from. We investigate the causal effect of the childhood social environment on adults’ preferences. We utilize a natural experiment in Denmark, which randomized refugees to different neighbourhoods in the 1990s. We experimentally measure risk, time, and social preferences of adult refugees who were children at the time of arrival in Denmark. Using rich administrative register data on the entire Danish population we can measure a very broad range of aspects of the childhood social environment. We find that the randomly allocated childhood environment significantly affects adults’ preferences, in particular, patience.
    Keywords: Preference formation, natural experiment, register data
    JEL: C90 D15 D64 D81 D90 J62
    Date: 2023–10

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