nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒02‒05
eight papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Homeward Bound: How Migrants Seek Out Familiar Climates By Marguerite Obolensky; Marco Tabellini; Charles Taylor
  2. Immigration and vocational training: Evidence from England By Alan Manning; Sandra McNally; Guglielmo Ventura
  3. Immigration and Provision of Public Goods: Evidence at the Local Level in the U.S. By Anna Maria Mayda; Mine Z. Senses; Walter Steingress
  5. Digging Up Trenches: Populism, Selective Mobility, and the Political Polarization of Italian Municipalities By Luca Bellodi; Frederic Docquier; Stefano Iandolo; Massimo Morelli; Riccardo Turati
  6. The Role of Labor Unions in Immigrant Integration By Dodini, Samuel; Willén, Alexander; Zhu, Julia Li
  7. Displacement and migration in the international climate negotiations: Loss and damage debate offers new scope for action By Biehler, Nadine; Knapp, Nadine; Koch, Anne
  8. Contributions of international migration to development in Latin America and the Caribbean: good practices, challenges and recommendations By Cano Christiny, María Verónica; Martínez Pizarro, Jorge

  1. By: Marguerite Obolensky; Marco Tabellini; Charles Taylor
    Abstract: This paper introduces the concept of “climate matching” as a driver of migration and establishes several new results. First, we show that climate strongly predicts the spatial distribution of immigrants in the US, both historically (1880) and more recently (2015), whereby movers select destinations with climates similar to their place of origin. Second, we analyze historical flows of German, Norwegian, and domestic migrants in the US and document that climate sorting also holds within countries. Third, we exploit variation in the long-run change in average US climate from 1900 to 2019 and find that migration increased more between locations whose climate converged. Fourth, we verify that results are not driven by the persistence of ethnic networks or other confounders, and provide evidence for two complementary mechanisms: climate-specific human capital and climate as amenity. Fifth, we back out the value of climate similarity by: i) exploiting the Homestead Act, a historical policy that changed relative land prices; and, ii) examining the relationship between climate mismatch and mortality. Finally, we project how climate change shapes the geography of US population growth by altering migration patterns, both historically and into the 21st century.
    JEL: J15 J61 N31 N32 Q54 R11
    Date: 2024–01
  2. By: Alan Manning; Sandra McNally; Guglielmo Ventura
    Abstract: Firms have two ways to ensure access to a skilled workforce: they can train their employees to the required level of skill or they can hire workers who are already skilled. Training is costly and an increase in the availability of skilled workers may dissuade firms from providing it. In this paper we study the impact of a large increase in net migration to the UK on workers' participation in vocational training. We use administrative information on publicly-funded workplace training capturing provision of training in nationally-recognised sector-wide general skills. We consider variation in migration inflows across local labour markets using a shift-share IV approach to deal with migrants' endogenous sorting across regions or occupations. Our evidence suggests that higher migration intensity led to a reduction in training participation among workers. But effects are concentrated in types of training that are less valuable and among workers who are less likely to benefit from it (in terms of higher earnings).
    Keywords: migration, training
    Date: 2024–01–10
  3. By: Anna Maria Mayda; Mine Z. Senses; Walter Steingress
    Abstract: Using U.S. county-level data from 1990 to 2010, we study the causal impact of immigration on the provision of local public goods. We uncover substantial heterogeneity across immigrants with different skills, mainly due to the asymmetric impact immigrants have on the per capita tax base and local revenues. In the absence of full insurance through intergovernmental transfers, the changes in per capita revenues are reflected in changes in the provision of local public services: per capita public expenditures decrease with the arrival of low-skilled immigrants and increase with the arrival of high-skilled immigrants. While the two types of immigrants offset each other on average, spatial differences in the population shares of low- and high-skilled immigrants lead to unequal fiscal effects across U.S. counties. We find the estimated impact to differ across various public services and for second-generation immigrants.
    Keywords: Fiscal policy; International topics; Regional economic developments
    JEL: F22 H41 H7 J61 J68 R5
    Date: 2023–11
  4. By: Asmae AQZZOUZ; Nathalie PICARD
    Abstract: This study examines the influence of local taxes on household migration behavior between French municipalities (“communes”). We group households into five tenure status categories and four categories of household head age. Our findings support Tiebout "voting with feet" theory, especially among young flat renters in the private sector and flat owners. A surprising result is related to the introduction of the municipality size in the regression which dramatically affects the coefficient measuring the effect of local tax rates on migration probability. This suggests that a large part of the “Tiebout effect” usually found in the literature is an artefact caused by the spurious correlation between municipality size and local tax rates.
    Keywords: Residential mobility, local taxes, local public expenditures, heterogeneity, local amenities, life cycle.
    JEL: H71 H72 R23
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Luca Bellodi; Frederic Docquier; Stefano Iandolo; Massimo Morelli; Riccardo Turati
    Abstract: We study the effect of local exposure to populism on net population movements by citizenship status, gender, age and education level in the context of Italian municipalities. We present two research designs to estimate the causal effect of populist attitudes and politics. Initially, we use a combination of collective memory and trigger variables as an instrument for the variation in populist vote shares across national elections. Subsequently, we apply a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of electing a populist mayor on population movements. We establish three converging findings. First, the exposure to both populist attitudes and policies, as manifested by the vote share of populist parties in national election or the closeelection of a new populist mayor, reduces the attractiveness of municipalities, leading to larger population outflows. Second, the effect is particularly pronounced among young, female, and highly educated natives, who tend to relocate across Italian municipalities rather than internationally. Third, we do not find any effect on the foreign population. Our results highlight a foot-voting mechanism that may contribute to a political polarization in Italian municipalities.
    Keywords: Migration, Human Capital, Populism, Italian Politics
    JEL: D72 F22 F52 J61
    Date: 2024
  6. By: Dodini, Samuel (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Willén, Alexander (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Zhu, Julia Li (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)
    Abstract: We examine if unions narrow or widen labor market gaps between natives and immigrants. We do so by combining rich Norwegian employer-employee matched register data with exogenous variation in union membership obtained through national government policies that differentially shifted the cost to workers to join a union. While union membership significantly improves the wages of natives, its positive effects diminish substantially for Western immigrants and disappear almost entirely for non-Western immigrants. The effect of unions on native wages, and the role of unions in augmenting the native-immigrant wage gap, is nonexistent in competitive labor markets while it is substantial in markets characterized by a high degree of labor concentration. This implies that unions act as a countervailing force to employer power in imperfect markets and can ameliorate the negative labor market effects of labor market concentration, but only for natives. Using unions as a means to empower workers and solve market failures caused by imperfect competition in the labor market, therefore, is likely to lead to a significant increase in societal inequality.
    Keywords: Unions; Migration; Inequality
    JEL: J10 J50 J60
    Date: 2023–12–22
  7. By: Biehler, Nadine; Knapp, Nadine; Koch, Anne
    Abstract: Climate change is leading to increasing displacement and migration, as well as involuntary immobility. The associated challenges and costs have long been neglected in the international climate negotiations. Until now, efforts to open up mobility choices for people negatively affected by climate change have been chronically underfunded. One important starting point for changing this is the explicit reference to human mobility in the new Loss and Damage Fund. However, financial resources and tech­nical support alone are not enough. In order to meet the epochal challenge of climate change-induced human mobility ambitious migration policy solutions are needed, including planned relocation and the consideration of climate change impacts in the management of labour migration.
    Keywords: displacement, migration, climate change, International Climate Negotiations, COP 28, loss und damage, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Cano Christiny, María Verónica; Martínez Pizarro, Jorge
    Abstract: This document presents the results of five studies on the contribution of migration to sustainable development in a selection of Latin American and Caribbean countries (Chile, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru), within the framework of a project under the twelfth tranche United Nations Development Account entitled “Harnessing the contribution of international migration to sustainable development in Latin American and Caribbean countries”, implemented by ECLAC between 2020 and 2023. Evidence from economic, demographic and cultural studies is compared using quantitative and qualitative methodologies. An analysis is provided with regard to the dissemination of the studies in national workshops, which were delivered using an expository and participatory methodology to encourage relevant actors and decision makers to engage in discussions that would be useful for designing public policies based on evidence and the protection of rights. Lastly, the document includes a list of proposed indicators on the contributions of migration to development, as well as reflections and recommendations to guide and facilitate the work of policymakers on migration.
    Date: 2023–12–08

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.