nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒01‒15
seventeen papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Intergroup Contact and Exposure to Information about Immigrants: Experimental Evidence By Patrick Dylong; Silke Uebelmesser
  2. The Macroeconomic Effects of Large Immigration Waves By Philipp Engler; Ms. Margaux MacDonald; Mr. Roberto Piazza; Galen Sher
  3. Immigrant Legalization and the Redistribution of State Funds: Evidence from the 1986 IRCA By Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
  4. Climate and Cross-Border Migration By Paula Beltran; Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov
  5. Economic Integration of Venezuelan Immigrants in Colombia: A Policy Roadmap By Dany Bahar; José Morales-Arilla; Sara Restrepo
  6. Economic Impacts of Overseas Labor Migration on Household Income and Expenditure in the Philippines By Nicola Daniele Coniglio
  7. Creating a Global Skill Partnership with Central America Using Existing US Visas By Helen Dempster; Kristie De Pena; Matthew La Corte; Jeremy Neufeld; Reva Resstack; Cassandra Zimmer
  8. Long-run Impacts of Forced Labor Migration on Fertility Behaviors: Evidence from Colonial West Africa By Pascaline Dupas; Camille Falezan; Marie Christelle Mabeu; Pauline Rossi
  9. Climate Change and Migration: An Omnibus Overview for Policymakers and Development Practitioners By Sam Huckstep; Michael Clemens
  10. A Machine Learning Approach to Targeting Humanitarian Assistance Among Forcibly Displaced Populations By : Angela C. Lyons; Alejandro Montoya Castano; : Josephine Kass-Hanna; : Yifang Zhang; Aiman Soliman
  11. Adaptive Management in Refugee Programming: Lessons from Re:Build By Helen Dempster; Nicol Herbert
  12. The Gendered Impact of In-State Tuition Policies on Undocumented Immigrants' College Enrollment, Graduation, and Employment By Averett, Susan; Bansak, Cynthia; Condon, Grace; Dziadula, Eva
  13. Can scientists remain internationally visible after the return to their home country? A study of Chinese scientists By Ying Zhang; Cornelia Lawson; Liangping Ding
  14. “Life would have been harder, harder and more in chaos, if there wasn’t internet”: Digital Inclusion among Newly Arrived Refugees in Australia during the Covid-19 Pandemic By Baganz, Emilie; McMahon, Tadgh; Khorana, Sukhmani; Magee, Liam; Culos, Ingrid
  15. The Intergenerational Health Effects of Forced Displacement: Japanese American Incarceration during WWII By Daniel S. Grossman; Umair Khalil; Laura Panza
  16. Is the Impact of Opening the Borders Heterogeneous? By Costanza Naguib
  17. The Hukou System and Wage Gap between Urban and Rural Migrant Workers in China : A Meta-Analysis By MA, Xinxin; LI, Yalan; IWASAKI, Ichiro

  1. By: Patrick Dylong; Silke Uebelmesser
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between beliefs about and attitudes towards immigrants and intergroup contact between natives and migrants in eastern Germany, a region characterized by anti-immigrant sentiment. Using probability-based survey data, we randomly vary respondents’ access to a signal about the true size of the immigrant population in the region. Respondents who receive the signal show more supportive attitudes toward immigration, with effect sizes being more pronounced for attitudes toward high-skilled immigrants. Importantly, estimating conditional average treatment effects shows that respondents who have less contact with immigrants prior to our intervention respond more strongly to the treatment. Additional findings suggest that the level of intergroup contact and biased beliefs about immigrants are complementary targets for information campaigns on immigration.
    Keywords: beliefs about immigrants, immigration attitudes, intergroup contact, information campaign
    JEL: C90 D83 F22 J15
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Philipp Engler; Ms. Margaux MacDonald; Mr. Roberto Piazza; Galen Sher
    Abstract: We propose a novel approach to measure the dynamic macroeconomic effects of immigration on the destination country, combining the analysis of episodes of large immigration waves with instrumental variables techniques. We distinguish the impact of immigration shocks in OECD countries from that of refugee immigration in emerging and developing economies. In OECD, large immigration waves raise domestic output and productivity in both the short and the medium term, pointing to significant dynamic gains for the host economy. We find no evidence of negative effects on aggregate employment of the native-born population. In contrast, our analysis of large refugee flows into emerging and developing countries does not find clear evidence of macroeconomic effects on the host country, a conclusion in line with a growing body of evidence that refugee immigrants are at disadvantage compared to other type of immigrants.
    Keywords: Immigration; productivity; dynamic gains
    Date: 2023–12–15
  3. By: Navid Sabet; Christoph Winter
    Abstract: We study the impact of immigrant legalization on fiscal transfers from state to local governments in the United States, exploiting variation in legal status from the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). State governments allocate more resources to IRCA counties, an allocation that is responsive to the electoral incentives of the governor. Importantly, the effect emerges prior to the enfranchisement of the IRCA migrants and we argue it is driven by the IRCA’s capacity to politically empower already legal Hispanic migrants in mixed legal status communities. The IRCA increases turnout in large Hispanic communities as well as Hispanic political engagement, without triggering anti-migrant sentiment.
    Keywords: distributive politics, state and local government, immigrant legalization
    JEL: J15 H72 P16
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Paula Beltran; Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov
    Abstract: Our work is positioned at the intersection of migration and climate change—two key forces shaping the economic outlook of many countries. The analysis explores: (i) the relative importance of origincountry vs destination-country factors in explaining migration patterns; (ii) importance of climate disasters as driver of cross-border migration; and (iii) the importance of climate-driven migration on the overall impact of climate on macroeconomic outcomes. It arrives at the following main findings. First, both origin-country and destination-country contribute to explaining migration outflows from EMDEs, although only the global shocks seem important for advanced economies. Second, climate disasters are important for explaining the origincountry migration shocks in LICs and EMDEs, are especially relevant for smaller countries, and lead to migration of both genders, albeit relatively more for males out of LICs. Third, important portion of climate’s overall impact on economic outcomes—especially agricultural GDP, remittances, and inequality—is captured via climate-driven migration. Finally, higher investment in climate-resilient infrastructure can reduce the impact of climate on cross-border migration, and thereby, result in potentially important economic gains.
    Keywords: International Migration; Climate; Climate Disasters
    Date: 2023–12–08
  5. By: Dany Bahar (Brown University; Harvard Growth Lab; Center for Global Development); José Morales-Arilla (Princeton University; Harvard Growth Lab); Sara Restrepo (Development Innovation Lab at the University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper studies the formal labor market integration and firm creation of Venezuelan immigrants and refugees in Colombia between late 2019 to late 2021. It applies a novel framework to identify segments of the Colombian economy where Venezuelan immigrants and refugees are lagging behind. When it comes to labor market dynamics, we identify professional services as one of the sectors where Venezuelan workers are not integrating fast enough consistently across different parts of the country, hinting that the recognition of professional credentials might be an important bottleneck to effective integration. As for entrepreneurship, we find that sectors where there are fewer firm creations by foreigners as compared to locals include commerce and service industries all across the nation. This paper is accompanied by a set of downloadable files which list sectors of the economy in each geographic department with poor integration of Venezuelan immigrants both for labor markets and firm creation. These lists are meant to be used by national and local policymakers for further investigation of possible market failures or distortions hindering immigrant integration, given our results.
    Date: 2022–12–07
  6. By: Nicola Daniele Coniglio (University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy. School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Estonia)
    Abstract: This paper studies the local community-level effects of Filipino labor migration on the income and expenditure of households. Using the IV method, it examines the effects of district-level migration rates on fifteen different categories of household income and expenditure, which altogether form the core of household income and expenditure structure. Migration is shown to have no significant impact on families’ total income or expenditure. However, it is negatively associated with the wages and salaries of families left behind. Determining whether this result reflects the moral hazard problem or the takeover of the departed migrant’s household chores by another family member (or any other explanation) is beyond the scope of this paper. The effect on receipts from abroad is, expectedly, positive and significant. Concerning household expenditure by category, no significant effect of migration was detected, except for migrants’ educational attainment having a positive and significant effect on education spending, which together with medical care spending is sometimes referred to as households’ ‘investments in human capital’. It is also positively associated with expenditures on durable goods and equipment, as well as housing and utilities. The main contribution to the literature is that, for the first time, the relationship between labor migration and economic outcomes has been analyzed at the district level. Considering the well-documented positive effects of Filipino overseas migration on various dimensions of household welfare at the level of individual households, regions, and the whole nation, the fact that neither total income nor expenditure is affected by the rate of local communities’ migration might entail that, at this level of governance, the Philippine migration policy framework is lacking. Further research is required to foster a more thorough understanding of the interrelationship between migration and household economic outcomes at the local community level and inform the meso-level migration policy in the Philippines.
    Date: 2023–12
  7. By: Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development); Kristie De Pena (Niskanen Center); Matthew La Corte (Niskanen Center); Jeremy Neufeld (Institute for Progress); Reva Resstack (Center for Global Development); Cassandra Zimmer (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: The United States is currently looking for ways to stimulate economic development within, and expand legal migration pathways from, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. At the same time, US employers are struggling with shortages in key “mid”-skill industries, such as health care, information and technology (IT), and tourism and hospitality. One way to meet both needs is to implement a Global Skill Partnership, a bilateral migration agreement which trains workers in needed skills within a country of origin prior to migration. A Global Skill Partnership between the US and El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras could be implemented within existing visa categories—the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP), the H-2B visa, and Schedule A Employment-based green cards—without needing congressional approval.
    Date: 2022–10–31
  8. By: Pascaline Dupas; Camille Falezan; Marie Christelle Mabeu; Pauline Rossi
    Abstract: Is the persistently high fertility in West Africa today rooted in the decades of forced labor migration under colonial rule? We study the case of Burkina Faso, considered the largest labor reservoir in West Africa by the French colonial authorities. Hundreds of thousands of young men were forcibly recruited and sent to work in neighboring colonies for multiple years. The practice started in the late 1910s and lasted until the late 1940s, when forced labor was replaced with voluntary wage employment. We digitize historical maps, combine data from multiple surveys, and exploit the historical, temporary partition of colonial Burkina Faso (and, more specifically, the historical land of the Mossi ethnic group) into three zones with different needs for labor to implement a spatial regression discontinuity design analysis. We find that, on the side where Mossi villages were more exposed to forced labor historically, there is more temporary male migration to Côte d'Ivoire up to today, and lower realized and desired fertility today. We show evidence suggesting that the inherited pattern of low-skill circular migration for adult men reduced the reliance on subsistence farming and the accompanying need for child labor. We can rule out women's empowerment or improvements in human and physical capital as pathways for the fertility decline. These findings contribute to the debate on the origins of family institutions and preferences, often mentioned to explain West Africa's exceptional fertility trends, showing that fertility choices respond to changes in modes of production.
    JEL: J13 N37 O15
    Date: 2023–12
  9. By: Sam Huckstep (Center for Global Development); Michael Clemens (George Mason University, Center for Global Development, IZA, and CReAM/UCL)
    Abstract: Climate change will have, and is having, major ramifications for migration at every level. While most migration affected by climate change will be internal, the international system is unprepared and inadequate for the needs that will arise. This paper reviews issues faced in the governance of climate-affected migration at the internal, regional, and international levels. It finds that at every level migration can be a valuable tool for adaptation, but that action is needed if its positive impact is to be maximised and negative consequences are to be avoided. Policy options are proposed or identified in numerous spheres of action.
    Date: 2023–05–09
  10. By: : Angela C. Lyons (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Alejandro Montoya Castano (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); : Josephine Kass-Hanna (IESEG School of Management, Univ. Lille); : Yifang Zhang (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign); Aiman Soliman (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: Increasing trends in forced displacement and poverty are expected to intensify in coming years. Data science approaches can be useful for governments and humanitarian organizations in designing more robust and effective targeting mechanisms. This study applies machine learning techniques and combines geospatial data with survey data collected from Syrian refugees in Lebanon over the last four years to help develop more robust and operationalizable targeting strategies. Our findings highlight the importance of a comprehensive and flexible framework that captures other poverty dimensions along with the commonly used expenditure metric, while also allowing for regular updates to keep up with (rapidly) changing contexts over time. The analysis also points to geographical heterogeneities that are likely to impact the effectiveness of targeting strategies. The insights from this study have important implications for agencies seeking to improve targeting, especially with shrinking humanitarian funding
    Date: 2023–11–20
  11. By: Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development); Nicol Herbert (International Rescue Committee)
    Abstract: Humanitarian and development crises are increasingly protracted and complex, lacking clear solutions and paths to reach the most-affected individuals and communities. Those working in such crises must be creative, adaptive, and supported by frameworks that promote efficient and effective responses. Adaptive management is a learning-oriented project management approach that centralizes proactive and ongoing reflection on what is and is not working, adapting the program design or operational delivery based on this new information. This approach is being implemented by a five-year program—Refugees in East Africa: Boosting Urban Innovations for Livelihoods (Re:Build)—aiming to achieve economic self-reliance for urban refugees and other vulnerable residents of Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya. The evidence for how to best support refugee economic self-reliance is limited; even less is known about what is effective for urban refugees specifically. Re:Build is utilizing adaptive management principles to navigate this uncertainty with the goal of achieving sustained outcomes for clients and more information about what works. While adaptive management offers a range of potential benefits, it requires implementers and donors to operate in new ways. After summarizing the existing adaptive management literature, this paper outlines lessons from the first two years of Re:Build’s attempts to implement an adaptive program. It concludes by sharing practical recommendations, for both implementers and donors, on how to better live out these principles.
    Date: 2023–06–07
  12. By: Averett, Susan; Bansak, Cynthia; Condon, Grace; Dziadula, Eva
    Abstract: Since 2001, about half of U.S. states have extended in-state college tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants. Some states have also offered financial aid, while others became more restrictive. Building on previous research, we exploit these additional policies, control for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and estimate the impact of in-state tuition on college enrollment, college graduation, employment, and self-employment. In our pooled sample of likely undocumented Hispanic youth, we corroborate the most recent work by also finding no effect of in-state tuition policies on enrollment. However, unlike previous studies, we allow for heterogeneity by gender and marital status and we demonstrate that there are gendered impacts. Women do not respond to in-state tuition. In contrast, men do enroll in college at higher rates regardless of financial aid opportunities. In-state tuition access results in higher graduation rates for women, driven by single women, but not for men. In terms of labor market attachment for undocumented youth, we find single women are more likely to work and single men to be self-employed when eligible for in-state tuition. Thus, the in-state policy motivates single women to complete their degrees and work. If policymakers intend to have a broader impact and target a more inclusive group of undocumented youth, including men, they should consider enhancing their opportunities in formal labor markets after college graduation. In support of this argument, we document a higher graduation and employment rates, along with lower self-employment rates, among DACA-eligible youth who have legal access to formal employment.
    Keywords: in-state tuition, undocumented immigrants
    JEL: J15 I22
    Date: 2023
  13. By: Ying Zhang (Department of Information Management, Peking University); Cornelia Lawson (Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, The University of Manchester); Liangping Ding (National Science Library, The Chinese Academy of Sciences; Department of Library, Information and Archives Management, The University of The Chinese Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Returning scientists play a critical role in building up the academic workforce and science in their home country. Yet, in this study we argue that return mobility may limit scientists‟ international relevance and thus spillover effects may not be realised. We take scientists returning to China as a sample to investigate the impact of return mobility on international visibility/impact. What is more, we explore the roles of the international collaboration network and international knowledge base in this effect. Our findings clarify the limitation of return mobility and provide some empirical evidence on the limits of global knowledge spillovers in science and talent introduction policies.
    Keywords: International mobility, International collaboration, Academic performance, Research visibility, Knowledge spillovers
    Date: 2023–02
  14. By: Baganz, Emilie; McMahon, Tadgh; Khorana, Sukhmani; Magee, Liam; Culos, Ingrid
    Abstract: Globally we are living through a continuing transition into the ‘information age’, where information and communication technology has transformed almost every aspect of people’s lives. The COVID-19 pandemic arguably accelerated this change. For refugees, as with other people, digital inclusion is arguably critical to social inclusion. This article seeks to better understand the digital inclusion of refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic, using data from two phases of research conducted in 2020 and 2021 with refugees who had recently resettled in Australia. Digital inclusion was mapped against three domains – access, affordability, and literacy – used in the annual Australian Digital Inclusion Index. Our research makes three contributions: it examines levels of digital inclusion among recently arrived refugees; it explores the relation of these levels to social links and bonds; and discusses differences within the sample according to gender, age, language group and type of digital inclusion.
    Date: 2023–12–14
  15. By: Daniel S. Grossman; Umair Khalil; Laura Panza
    Abstract: We study the intergenerational health consequences of forced displacement and incarceration of Japanese Americans in the US during WWII. Incarcerated mothers had babies who were less healthy at birth. This decrease in health represents a shift in the entire birthweight distribution due to exposure to prison camps. Imprisoned individuals were less likely to have children with fathers of other ethnic groups but were more likely to receive prenatal care, invest in education, and participate in the labor market. To the extent human capital effects mitigate the full negative effects of incarceration on intergenerational health, our results are a lower bound.
    JEL: I12 I14 I18 N32
    Date: 2023–12
  16. By: Costanza Naguib
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of an inflow of foreign workers on the wage distribution of residents in a small open economy like Switzerland. We exploit the fact that Swiss mobility regions were differently affected by the intensity and the timing of the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons, depending on their distance from the national border. We extend the results by Beerli, Ruffner, Siegenthaler and Peri (2021) by analyzing heterogeneity in treatment effect via causal forests. We find statistically significant evidence that the treatment effect of opening the borders has been heterogeneous across age, education, and type of activity groups.
    Keywords: wage distribution, Bilateral Agreements, causal forest, Conditional Average Treatment Effect
    JEL: C14 J31
    Date: 2023–12
  17. By: MA, Xinxin; LI, Yalan; IWASAKI, Ichiro
    Abstract: This study performed a meta-analysis of 506 estimates extracted from 75 studies to estimate the effect size of rural household registration (hukou) on wage levels. Our meta-synthesis results indicated that the negative effect of rural hukou on wages is statistically significant; however, the effect size remains small in terms of the partial correlation coefficient. The results of the meta-regression analysis and test for publication selection bias indicated that the differences in the wage effect of hukou among genders, corporate ownership sectors, and periods are insignificant. We also found that publication selection bias is unlikely, and genuine evidence exists in the literature.
    Keywords: household registration (hukou) system, wage gap, rural migrant worker, synthesis, meta-regression analysis, publication selection bias, China
    JEL: D63 J31 J71 P21 P31
    Date: 2023–12

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