nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒01‒08
fourteen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. When scapegoating backfires: The pitfalls of blaming migrants for a crisis By Michela Boldrini; Pierluigi Conzo; Willem Sas; Roberto Zotti
  2. Delayed effects on migration intentions in an information provision experiment in Ghana By Frohnweiler, Sarah; Beber, Bernd; Ebert, Cara
  3. Pro-immigrant legislation and financial inclusion: The effects of sanctuary policies on the mortgage market By Zuchowski, David
  4. Forms of Activism on Refugee Protection in a British Overseas Territory: conventional, contentious, cultural By Olga Demetriou
  5. From Refugees to Citizens: Labor Market Returns to Naturalization By Francesco Fasani; Tommaso Frattini; Maxime Pirot
  6. Cash-Based Interventions Improve Multidimensional Integration Outcomes of Venezuelan Immigrants By Ahrens, Achim; Hangartner, Dominik; Casalis, Marine; Sánchez, Rodrigo
  7. Foreign Nurses and Hospital Quality: Evidence from Brexit By Castro-Pires, Henrique; Mello, Marco; Moscelli, Giuseppe
  8. Anticipation Effects of EU Accession on Immigrants' Labour Market Outcomes By Dalmazzo, Alberto; Leombruni, Roberto; Razzolini, Tiziano
  9. Do co-ethnic commuters disseminate labor market information? Evidence from geocoded register data By Johan Klaesson; Özge Öner; Dieter Pennerstorfer
  10. Who Benefits from Migrant and Female Labor? Connecting Wages to Demographic Changes in French Workplaces 1 By Matthew Soener; Olivier Godechot; Mirna Safi
  11. Regional Policies’ Impacts on Urban Migration:Evidence from Special Economic Zones in China By Shutong Zhang; Jun Nagayasu
  12. How Much Are the Poor Losing From Tax Competition? By Mathilde Muñoz
  13. Urban and Regional Migration Estimates, Third Quarter 2023 Update By Stephan D. Whitaker
  14. The most precious resource: time allocation of immigrants in the U.S. By Nicola Daniele Coniglio; Rezart Hoxhaj; Huber Jayet

  1. By: Michela Boldrini; Pierluigi Conzo; Willem Sas; Roberto Zotti
    Abstract: In times of hardship, politicians often leverage citizens’ discontent and scapegoat minorities to obtain political support. This paper tests whether political campaigns scapegoating migrants for a health crisis affect social, political, and economic attitudes and behaviors. Through an online nationally-representative survey experiment in Italy, we analyze the effects of such narratives through information-provision treatments, which include facts also emphasizing the alleged health consequences of ongoing immigration. Results show that narratives associating immigration with health threats do not generate sizeable add-on effects compared to those based on immigration only. If anything, they increase disappointment towards co-nationals, reduce institutional trust, and undermine partisanship among extreme-right supporters. Results are consistent with a theoretical framework where party credibility and support, and institutional trust are influenced by political discourse. Our experiment underpins the prediction that political campaigns based on extreme narratives can be ineffective or socially and politically counterproductive, providing an example of how populism can backfire.
    Keywords: Immigration, Pandemic crisis, Survey experiment, Socio-political attitudes, Institutional trust, Anti-immigrant narratives, Informational treatments, Political messaging, Populism
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Frohnweiler, Sarah; Beber, Bernd; Ebert, Cara
    Abstract: We report experimental results from Ghana, where treated subjects received information on regional income differentials. We do not see an effect on migration intentions directly after the intervention, but the effect of the treatment unfolds over time. Eighteen months later, subjects assigned to receive income information are on average significantly less likely to express enthusiasm for moving to another region, because individuals that had inaccurately high expectations about incomes elsewhere compared to their current place of residence are now more likely to want to forgo relocation. Contrary to common claims that effects observed in light-touch information experiments are likely to dissipate quickly, we suggest that some types of content in high-stakes domains such as migration can take time to reverberate and be incorporated into individuals' decision calculus. We also discuss that delayed effects may be uncommonly observed because long-term follow-ups are rare in the absence of short-term effects.
    Abstract: Wir berichten Ergebnisse eines Experiments in Ghana, bei dem behandelte Personen Informationen über regionale Einkommensunterschiede erhielten. Unmittelbar nach der Intervention lässt sich keine Auswirkung auf Migrationsabsichten feststellen, aber eine Wirkung entfaltet sich im Laufe der Zeit. Achtzehn Monate später ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass die Teilnehmenden, die Informationen über Einkommensunterschiede erhalten haben, in eine andere Region umziehen wollen im Durchschnitt deutlich geringer. Dies liegt daran, dass Personen, die im Vergleich zu ihrem derzeitigen Wohnort unzutreffend hohe Einkommenserwartungen hatten, nun eher auf einen Umzug verzichten wollen. Entgegen der weit verbreiteten Annahme, dass sich Effekte in Experimenten dieser Art schnell verflüchtigen, zeigen wir, dass Inhalte in Themenfeldern wie der Migration eventuell eine gewisse Zeit brauchen, bis sie nachhallen und in das Entscheidungskalkül der Menschen einfließen. Wir erörtern auch, dass verzögerte Effekte nur selten beobachtet werden, weil langfristige Folgeuntersuchungen selten sind, wenn es keine kurzfristigen Effekte gibt.
    Keywords: Delayed effects, information provision, migration intentions
    JEL: J31 O15
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Zuchowski, David
    Abstract: Does pro-immigrant legislation improve financial inclusion? This paper examines how granting safe havens for immigrants impacts Hispanics' financial behavior and discrimination against them in the U.S. mortgage market. To identify the effect, I take advantage of the staggered implementation of sanctuary policies across counties between 2010 and 2021. Using an event study approach, I find that sanctuary policies increase the demand for mortgages among Hispanics. I also find evidence of a decrease in the rejection rates of mortgage loans requested by Hispanics in counties that implemented sanctuary policies. Politically volatile and Republican-leaning states are the main drivers of the reduction in this potential discriminatory behavior. Taken together, the findings underscore the importance of inclusive public policies in promoting financial inclusion of immigrants.
    Abstract: Fördern immigrantenfreundliche Gesetze die finanzielle Inklusion? Diese Studie untersucht, wie die Gewährung von sicheren Zufluchtsorten für Immigranten das Finanzverhalten von Hispanics und die Diskriminierung gegen sie auf dem US-amerikanischen Hypothekenmarkt beeinflusst. Um den Effekt zu identifizieren, mache ich Gebrauch von der zeitlich gestaffelten Einführung sogenannter Sanctuary Policies in den Kreisen in den USA zwischen 2010 und 2021. Mit Hilfe eines Ereignisstudienansatzes komme ich zu dem Ergebnis, dass Sanctuary Policies die Nachfrage nach Hypotheken unter Hispanics erhöhen. Es gibt auch Hinweise auf eine Verringerung der Ablehnungsquoten von Hypothekenanträgen von Hispanics in Kreisen, die Sanctuary Policies umgesetzt haben. Kreise in politisch instabilen und republikanisch geprägten Bundesstaaten sind die Haupttreiber der Reduzierung dieses potenziell diskriminierenden Verhaltens. Insgesamt unterstreichen die Ergebnisse die Bedeutung von inklusiven Gesetzen zur Förderung der finanziellen Integration von Einwanderern.
    Keywords: Sanctuary policies, immigration policy, mortgages, financial inclusion
    JEL: G21 J15 J68 K37 R21
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Olga Demetriou
    Abstract: This paper begins from the premise that refugee protection is a field of contestation between practices that co-determine what is a proper refugee and what is a proper state. It locates this contestation in three forms of activism explored in turn: conventional, contentious, and cultural. It takes the example of refugees stranded on the British Bases in Cyprus as a micro-case of how these different forms of politics results in institutional and non-institutional practices that shape perceptions of the state. The paper analyses how these forms of activism evolved over a span of two decades, how they interacted with each other, and what their outcomes were. In this specific case, the contestation over protection responsibilities resulted in a court ruling that question the sovereign status of the British bases in Cyprus. Taking this as an instantiation of the risks that skirting responsibilities poses for states, the paper advances the claim that refugees can in fact define states as much as states define refugees. In a broader perspective, refugee protection is a measure of the extent to which states are democratic, just, or otherwise, actors in the international system.
    Keywords: Refugee mobilization, Cyprus British bases, conventional, contentious, cultural activism, Refugee Convention application, migration diplomacy
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Francesco Fasani (University of Milan, CEPR, CReAM, and IZA); Tommaso Frattini (University of Milan, LdA, CEPR, CReAM, and IZA); Maxime Pirot (University of Milan)
    Abstract: Is naturalization an effective tool to boost refugees’ labor market integration? We address this novel empirical question by exploring survey data from 21 European countries and leveraging variation in citizenship laws across countries, time, and migrant groups as a source of exogenous variation in the probability of naturalization. We find that obtaining citizen status allows refugees to close their gaps in labor market outcomes relative to non-refugee migrants while having non-significant effects on the latter group. We then further explore the heterogeneity of returns to citizenship in a Marginal Treatment Effect framework, showing that migrants with the lowest propensity to naturalize would benefit the most if they did. This reverse selection on gains can be explained by policy features that make it harder for more vulnerable migrant groups to obtain citizenship, suggesting that a relaxation of eligibility constraints would yield benefits for both migrants and host societies.
    Keywords: Forced migration, citizenship, asylum policy
    JEL: J15 J61 F22
    Date: 2023–12–01
  6. By: Ahrens, Achim; Hangartner, Dominik; Casalis, Marine; Sánchez, Rodrigo
    Abstract: Since 2015, over 7 million Venezuelans have been forced to leave their homes, seeking refuge predominantly in neighboring countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. The displacement is typically accompanied by vulnerability and marginalization, yet there is a scarcity of actionable evidence on how to alleviate poverty among immigrants and refugees and facilitate their economic, political, and social integration. This study evaluates the impact of a cash-based intervention (CBI) on multidimensional integration outcomes of highly vulnerable Venezuelan immigrants in Peru. Utilizing an original panel survey of beneficiaries and the staggered rollout of the program, which provided a one-time payment of 760 soles (approximately 190 USD or 74% of the monthly minimum wage), we estimate that the CBI increased the IPL-24 index---an overall measure of immigrant integration capturing several dimensions---by at least 0.12 standard deviations. This increase is mainly driven by improvements in the navigational, social and economic components of the IPL-24 index. Moreover, the CBI boosted self-employment by 2 percentage points and raised the intention to emigrate from Peru by 1.2 percentage points. Additionally, our heterogeneity analysis reveals that the benefits of the fixed-amount cash payment diminish significantly with the size of the household. We discuss how these findings inform the design of future CBI programs aimed at supporting vulnerable immigrant and refugee families.
    Date: 2023–11–26
  7. By: Castro-Pires, Henrique (University of Surrey); Mello, Marco (University of Aberdeen); Moscelli, Giuseppe (University of Surrey)
    Abstract: We exploit the 2016 Brexit referendum as a migration shock to evaluate the impact of reduced labour supply on the provision of hospital care. After the referendum, a sharp drop in the number of early-career new joiners from Europe resulted in a considerable decrease in the share of EU nurses in the English NHS. Using an enclave instrumental variable empirical strategy, we find that emergency readmission rates increased, and more so in hospital organizations more exposed to the missing inflow of new joiners. A theoretical model shows that this is consistent with a decrease in the quality of new hires.
    Keywords: labour supply, workers' mobility, immigration, patient care, hospital quality, Brexit
    JEL: J45 J61 J68 I11 C26
    Date: 2023–11
  8. By: Dalmazzo, Alberto (University of Siena); Leombruni, Roberto (University of Turin); Razzolini, Tiziano (University of Siena)
    Abstract: Regulations in host countries often impose heavy limitations on the opportunities of migrant workers. Here, we analyse how (the anticipation of) a change in the legal status of foreign workers may affect their terms of employment. Building on a simple theoretical model, we consider a sample of non-EU immigrants in Italy over the period which led to the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union in 2007. We find that the expectation of achieving EU citizenship increased Romanians' and Bulgarians' bargaining power over wages and job attributes, relative to other non-EU migrants, and also stimulated business venture.
    Keywords: migration, labor market restrictions, EU accession, workplace safety
    JEL: J28 J32 J71
    Date: 2023–11
  9. By: Johan Klaesson; Özge Öner; Dieter Pennerstorfer
    Abstract: This article provides causal evidence of the significant role ethnic networks play in facilitating labor market integration by reducing information frictions. Using full population geocoded employer-employee matched Swedish register data, we investigate how co-ethnic commuters can influence the work location of immigrants for their initial employment. We argue that these ethnic peers transmit job specific information from their places of work to fellow ethnic peers within the same residential neighborhood who seek jobs. We find that a new immigrant’s likelihood of securing their first job at a certain location increases with the presence of co-ethnic commuters from their residential neighborhood: Each additional commuter of the same ethnic network increases the probability of finding employment in a specific neighborhood by 2.3%. This effect is more pronounced for women, co-ethnic commuters with similar education levels, and immigrants who land their first jobs in larger firms.
    Keywords: Co-ethnic commuters, information frictions, ethnic networks, labor market integration, ethnic enclaves
    JEL: F22 J61 J64 O18 R23
    Date: 2023–12
  10. By: Matthew Soener; Olivier Godechot (Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Mirna Safi (Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: We ask how an increasing share of women or migrants in the workplace affects wages for different groups depending on market‐based or relational outcomes. Using data on nearly every French employee and workplace, we propose four theoretically informed outcomes. We do not find an increase in the share of women or migrants provokes a wage backlash but that these groups instead have some "power in numbers." Yet, most importantly, our results show demographic changes are conditioned by class position through a surplus appropriation mechanism. The share of women and the share of migrants in the professional and managerial class raise wages within this class especially for men and migrants in this class, respectively. We also find the entry of migrant workers puts downward pressure on worker wages—both natives and migrants. We offer an interpretation of these results based on the redistribution of labor costs when hiring employees like women and migrants who earn less on average.
    Date: 2023–10–16
  11. By: Shutong Zhang; Jun Nagayasu
    Abstract: Special economic zones (SEZs) have played an important role in developing China’s economy. However, few researchers examine its importance in shaping China’s urban population. This study empirically examines the impacts of SEZs on permanent urban migration in China, where the registered residential location determines a large portion of social welfare. Using the difference-in-differences approach and a specific set of urban region data, we obtain results undiscovered in previous research on regional economic policies’ impacts on migration. In particular, establishing SEZs has positive but time-lagged impacts on permanent migration to urban regions.
    Date: 2023–11
  12. By: Mathilde Muñoz
    Abstract: This paper quantifies the unequal welfare effects of tax competition. I derive the optimal tax and transfer schedules in a free mobility union composed of countries that can either compete or set a uniform federal tax rate. In the absence of fiscal coordination, governments internalize that any decentralized tax reform can lead to the out-migration of taxpayers at the top of the income distribution while increasing the in-migration of transfer recipients. As a result, the optimal level of redistribution is always lower in the tax competition equilibrium. Numerical calibrations show that being in a competition union rather than in a federal union decreases poorer individuals’ welfare by up to -20 percent. In contrast, the rich experience higher welfare in the tax competition equilibrium due to lower tax rates.
    JEL: H31 H73
    Date: 2023–11
  13. By: Stephan D. Whitaker
    Abstract: This Data Brief updates the figures that appeared in "Urban and Regional Migration Estimates: Will Your City Recover from the Pandemic?" with data for 2023 Q3 for all series. Migration estimates 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: urban migration; Regional migration; COVID-19 pandemic
    Date: 2023–12–19
  14. By: Nicola Daniele Coniglio (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia); Rezart Hoxhaj (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy.); Huber Jayet (University of Lille, France.)
    Abstract: This study offers a comprehensive examination of the time-use patterns of immigrants versus native-born populations in the U.S., drawing from the American Time-Use Survey (ATUS) spanning 2003-2019. We analyse differences in the concentration and diversity of time allocation, looking both at participation likelihood and at the time spent in a highly disaggregated set of activities. Our findings underscore pronounced differences between immigrants and native-born, with distinct patterns emerging across genders and influenced by socio-economic attributes. The data reveals a nuanced assimilation trajectory based on the duration of immigrants' residency. Particularly, men immigrants show assimilation in time-use after approximately 20 years, while women immigrants display a staggered alignment, converging notably after two decades. Immigrants also exhibit heightened gender specialization in time-use, which narrows over time but remains pronounced relative to native-born. Second-generation immigrants display time-use patterns similar to long-term first-generation immigrants, aligning closely with the trend of nativeborn. This study provides valuable insights into the dynamics of time-use, assimilation processes, and gendered divisions, informing socio-economic and integration policies.
    Date: 2023–12

This nep-mig issue is ©2024 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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