nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒01‒22
ten papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Why people stay: Decision-making in situations of forced displacement and options for humanitarian aid and development cooperation By Biehler, Nadine
  2. Overcoming Barriers to Venezuelan Women’s Inclusion and Participation in Colombia By Olivia Woldemikael; Stephanie López Villamil; María Alejandra Uribe; Julio Daly
  3. Migration Policy and the Supply of Foreign Physicians: Evidence from the Conrad 30 Waiver Program By Breno Braga; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
  4. Gendered disciplinary apparatuses and carceral domesticities in Singapore’s labour-migration regime By Antona, Laura
  6. Did Cities Increase Skills During Industrialization? Evidence from Rural-Urban Migration By Andersson, Jonatan; Molinder, Jakob
  7. Why and How Development Agencies Facilitate Labor Migration By Helen Dempster; Beza Tesfaye
  8. Financing Legal Labor Migration Pathways: From Pilot to Scale By Helen Dempster; Ismael Gálvez Iniesta; Reva Resstack; Cassandra Zimmer
  9. COVID-19, Long-Term Care, and Migration in Asia By Azusa Sato; Helen Dempster
  10. Enhancing the Development Impact of the UK’s Immigration Pathways By Helen Dempster; Jenniffer Dew; Sam Huckstep; Martina Castiglioni; Cassandra Zimmer

  1. By: Biehler, Nadine
    Abstract: The proportion of affected populations who flee violent conflict is much smaller than is widely assumed. Many decide to remain in the conflict zones. They are often referred to as stayees. Three groups can be identified. Some people stay voluntarily. Others do so involuntarily, for example because they lack the resources to flee or because violent actors restrict their freedom of movement. Another group acquiesce to their immobility. Little is known about stayees, their needs and the reasons for their im­mobility. But several factors relevant to their decision-making can be identified. These include type of conflict, type of violence and personal situation. Whether they remain voluntarily or involuntarily, stayees employ sur­vival strategies including collaboration, neutrality, protest and resistance. Knowledge about stayees and their survival strategies is important for humanitarian aid and development actors. Only if they are well informed can they align their activities with actual needs and provide meaningful support to people living in and with violent conflicts. It is therefore essential to consider the entire spectrum of (im)mobility and to understand this expanded perspective as a positive - without neglecting the forcibly displaced. The agency of civilians in violent conflicts needs to be recognised and they must be protected from abuse and exploitation by aid workers (do-no-harm principle). Finally, stayees must be systematically included in all post-conflict initiatives supporting vol­untary return and reintegration.
    Keywords: displacement, internally displaced persons (IDPs), trapped populations, migration, asylum, stayees, humanitarian aid, development cooperation, violent conflicts, do-no-harm principle, return, reintegration, Germany, EU
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Olivia Woldemikael (PhD candidate, Harvard University); Stephanie López Villamil (Consultant); María Alejandra Uribe (Independent Researcher); Julio Daly (Co-director, Barómetro de Xenofobia)
    Abstract: This paper aims to present the main barriers Venezuelan women face to access to the labor market and participation in Colombia. First, we did a literature review and concluded there is a gap in qualitative studies on the obstacles faced by Venezuelan women when they arrive to Colombia. Based on a survey and interviews with Colombian, binational, and Venezuelan women, some of them participants of the Escuelita de Incidencia para Mujeres Migrantes, we found they face gender-based barriers and other barriers that affect the Venezuelan population in general. We also investigated how women manage to overcome these barriers. Furthermore, the study showed that there is leadership and broad participation among Venezuelan women. This leadership facilitates the access to the labor market and other services provided by the Colombian State. The paper concludes with recommendations aimed at the Colombian government, donors, civil society organizations, international organizations, and multilateral banks to improve the inclusion of Venezuelan women in the Colombian labor market.
    Date: 2022–04–04
  3. By: Breno Braga; Gaurav Khanna; Sarah Turner
    Abstract: In the United States, rural and low-income communities have difficulty attracting and retaining physicians, potentially adversely impacting health outcomes. With a limited supply of physicians completing medical school at US universities, foreign-born and educated physicians provide a potential source of supply in underserved areas. For international medical school graduates (IMGs) the terms of the commonly used J-1 visa require a return to the home country for two years following employment in medical residency. Our analysis examines the extent to which the Conrad 30 Visa Waiver impacts the supply of physicians at state and local levels, particularly in areas designated as medically underserved. Changes in the federal limit on the number of waivers per state, combined with variation in the state-level restrictions on eligible specialties, and geographies in which physicians can work, provide evidence on the role of visa restrictions in limiting the supply of doctors. Expansion of the cap on visa waivers increased the supply of IMGs, particularly in states that did not limit waiver recipients to primary care physicians or particular places of employment. There is little evidence of reductions in US-trained doctors in states where IMG increases were the largest, suggesting little evidence for crowding out.
    JEL: I20 J6 J68
    Date: 2023–12
  4. By: Antona, Laura
    Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that Singapore’s labour-migration regime is unequal and bifurcated, with migrants that are categorised as foreign professionals afforded many more rights than those categorised as migrant workers. While migrant construction, process, and shipyard workers are expected to reside in dormitories or other shared accommodation, migrant domestic workers are mandated to live in their employers’ homes, where their gendered bodies are confined and disciplined. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, in this article I demonstrate that Singapore’s labour-migration regime is underpinned with a carceral logic that imposes bodily controls on domestic workers through policy, legal regulations, and practices which, I argue, constitute gendered disciplinary apparatuses. Moreover, by examining migrant domestic workers’ everyday experiences, I suggest that different dwelling spaces – namely, employers’ homes and shelters – can be conceptualised as carceral domesticities. Utilised by the state as carceral infrastructure, I show the ways in which these dwelling spaces become geographies of detainment and punishment, in/through which different actors become involved in disciplining intimacy, morality, and maintaining socio-racial order in the nation. Simultaneously, the carceral nature of the labour-migration regime produces forms of domesticity which relies on the containment of migrant workers.
    Keywords: carcerality; confinement; domesticity; home; labour-migration; Singapore; Sage deal
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2023–12–02
  5. By: Donal Bissainte (UF - University of Florida [Gainesville])
    Abstract: This research delves into the significant role immigrant-owned businesses play in the U.S. economy, focusing on Florida's diverse food system. It explores the strategies, challenges, and relationships of Table 1. Main Challenges of small food businesses immigrant food entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs exhibit determination, adaptability, and diverse aspirations, aiming for success through strategic product ordering and financial goals. Challenges faced include city requirements, inventory issues, and financial constraints. Despite these hurdles, they display resilience, continuously improving their businesses by diversifying offerings and engaging with the community. Family involvement is pivotal, providing support in operations and finance. Immigrant entrepreneurs prioritize community relationships, fostering connections with customers and supporting local causes. The research underscores their resilience and emphasizes the need for support systems to empower these entrepreneurs and integrate them into the local food economy.
    Date: 2023–12–05
  6. By: Andersson, Jonatan (Department of Economic History, Uppsala University); Molinder, Jakob (Department of Economic History, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: The process of industrialization is typically associated with urbanization and a widening urban-rural skills gap. To what extent were these disparities driven by the direct impact on occupational attainment of living in an urban area or the result of the positive self-selection of more-skilled individuals into cities? In this paper, we leverage exceptional Swedish longitudinal data that allow us to estimate the impact of rural-urban migration on skill attainment during Sweden’s industrialization from the 1880s to the 1930s using a staggered treatment difference-in-difference estimator. We attribute roughly half of the gap in urban-rural skills to a direct impact of living in an urban area, whereas the other half is driven by self-selection into cities. A third of the direct impact of residing in cities is explained by a static effect, reflecting better initial matching, while the rest is the result of a dynamic effect as individuals upgrade their skills over time in urban areas. We conclude that cities had a substantial effect on skill development in Sweden around the turn of the nineteenth century that is likely to extend to other European and North American economies that were industrializing around the same time.
    Keywords: Rural-urban migration; skills; industrialization
    JEL: J62 N33 N34 R23
    Date: 2024–01–05
  7. By: Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development); Beza Tesfaye (Mercy Corps)
    Abstract: Development agencies in high-income countries spend a large amount of both official development assistance (ODA) and other forms of financing on migration programming. While most of this spending is aimed at deterring migration, increasingly more is being focused on facilitating migration: to the high-income country itself; within and between low- and middle-income countries; and supporting people on the move and the diaspora. This paper, written by the Center for Global Development and Mercy Corps, aims to explore why and how development agencies in high-income countries facilitate labor, or economic, migration, and how they have been able to justify and expand their mandate in this area. Based on interviews with nine development agencies, we find that development agencies use a range of arguments to justify their work in this area, including supporting economic development and poverty reduction in partner countries while also meeting labor market demands at home or other countries. Yet expanding a mandate in this area requires substantial cross-government coordination and political buy-in, both of which are difficult to achieve. It also requires the ability to be able to use ODA to facilitate labor migration, which is currently up for debate. As development agencies seek to expand their work on labor migration, it will be necessary to define shared goals and start with pilot projects that focus on low-hanging fruit, while maintaining a focus on development and poverty reduction.
    Date: 2022–08–22
  8. By: Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development); Ismael Gálvez Iniesta (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Reva Resstack (Center for Global Development); Cassandra Zimmer (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Interest among high-income countries in using bespoke legal labor migration pathways to offset the negative impacts of aging populations and skills shortages has increased in the last decade. Even when migration is beneficial in the long-run, like all investments, these pathways incur up-font costs. Yet there is little information as to the costs involved in these pathways; how they were covered by government funding, the private sector, and the migrants themselves; and how these costs could be covered in an ethical and sustainable way to enable these bespoke pathways to scale. Based on analysis of a Center for Global Development database of 57 legal labor migration pathways, this paper seeks to answer these questions. It therefore aims to provide support to high-income countries interested in designing, implementing, and scaling legal labor migration pathways.
    Date: 2022–06–06
  9. By: Azusa Sato (Center for Global Development); Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: Countries throughout Asia are experiencing rapidly aging populations and increasing life expectancy, leading to a large and growing demand for long-term care (LTC) services. Despite the shift to providing care within communities and at home, governments are struggling to provide enough LTC to meet demand. A large part of the constraint is the lack of available workers. While many countries in the region have migration schemes to bring in LTC workers, they are insufficient. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an outsized impact on older people throughout the region, and has exposed deficiencies in the structure of migrant care labor. This report explores the impact of these three dynamics—LTC, migration, and COVID-19—on the current and future LTC workforce in the Asian region. It showcases 11 countries of origin and destination, including the demand for and supply of LTC, how it is financed and resourced, and where and how migrant workers are sourced. It puts forward recommendations for how governments throughout Asia can ethically and sustainably increase LTC worker migration; improve wages, working conditions, and recruitment processes within the sector; and learn lessons from COVID-19.
    Date: 2022–05–09
  10. By: Helen Dempster (Center for Global Development); Jenniffer Dew (International Organization for Migration); Sam Huckstep (Center for Global Development); Martina Castiglioni (International Organization for Migration); Cassandra Zimmer (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) calls on countries of destination to both expand regular migration pathways and take steps to increase the development impact of these pathways. Migration can have a positive impact on the economic development of migrants themselves, their families, their countries of origin, and their country of destination, if aspects such as integration, remittances, and skill transfers are prioritized. This paper, produced by the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the UK office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), outlines lessons for the UK Government to implement if they are to increase the development potential of both their existing and new immigration pathways, particularly in the agriculture, nursing, and green technology sectors
    Date: 2022–04–21

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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