nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒03‒11
twelve papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Should I stay or should I go? Return migration from the United States By Alan Manning; Graham Mazeine
  2. Out-group Penalties in Refugee Assistance: A Survey Experiment By Cristina Cattaneo; Daniela Grieco; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis
  3. Technological Push and Pull Factors of Bilateral Migration By Antea Barišić; Mahdi Ghodsi; Michael Landesmann
  4. “Reborn in Guate”: Making Resource Frontiers in Asylum in Guatemala’s Northern Petén By Morris, Julia
  5. Long-run integration of refugees: RCT evidence from a Swedish early intervention program By Dahlberg, Matz; Egebark, Johan; Vikman, Ulrika
  6. Immigration Enforcement and Public Safety By Felipe M. Gonçalves; Elisa Jácome; Emily K. Weisburst
  7. Which Migrant Jobs are Linked with the Adoption of Novel Technologies, Robotisation, and Digitalisation? By Antea Barišić; Mahdi Ghodsi; Robert Stehrer
  8. Improving employment and social cohesion among refugee and host communities through TVET: evidence from an impact assessment in Ethiopia By Getachew, Abis; Höckel, Lisa Sofie; Kuhnt, Jana; Muhumad, Abdirahman A.; von Schiller, Armin
  9. Interlinking humanitarian aid, development cooperation and peacebuilding in displacement contexts: The added value of the HDP nexus' peace component By Biehler, Nadine; Kobler, Barbara; Meier, Amrei
  10. Endogenous mobility in pandemics: Theory and evidence from the United States By Xiao Chen; Hanwei Huang; Jiandong Ju; Ruoyan Sun; Jialiang Zhang
  11. The Effect of Immigration on the German Housing Market By Umut Unal; Bernd Hayo; Isil Erol
  12. Women’s Missing Mobility and the Gender Gap in Higher Education: Evidence from Germany’s University Expansion By Barbara Boelmann

  1. By: Alan Manning; Graham Mazeine
    Abstract: Return migration is important, but how many migrants leave and who is poorly understood. This paper proposes a new method for estimating return migration rates using aggregated repeated cross-sectional data, treating the number of migrants in a group who arrived in a particular year as an unobserved fixed effect, and the observed number (including, importantly, observed zeroes) in the arrival or subsequent years as observations from a Poisson distribution. Compared to existing methods, this allows us to estimate return rates for many more migrant groups, allowing more in-depth analysis of the factors that influence return migration rates. We apply this method to US data and find a decreasing hazard, with most returns occurring by eight years after arrival, when about 13% of migrants have left. The return rate is significantly lower for women, those who arrive at a young age, and those from poorer; it is higher for those on non-immigrant visas for work or study. We also provide suggestive evidence that, conditional on their country of origin, those with lower education are more likely to return.
    Keywords: return migration
    Date: 2024–02–12
  2. By: Cristina Cattaneo; Daniela Grieco; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis
    Abstract: We study out-group biases in attitudes toward refugees, and the effect of European Union (EU) immigration policies on these views, using an online survey experiment including 4, 087 Italian participants. We assess attitudes using donations to a randomly assigned group: Italian victims of violence or refugees fleeing wars in Ukraine or African countries. We also employ a novel measure, the share donated in cash. While donations indicated less support for African and Ukrainian refugees compared to Italian victims, the cash measure revealed a stronger prejudice against distant out-groups, with participants giving African refugees a smaller proportion of cash donations. This result was mainly driven by individuals with right-leaning political views. Providing information about immigration policy reforms that give the EU a more substantial role in receiving and allocating refugees had no impact. Textual analysis supports these findings.
    JEL: C99 D02 D64 J15
    Date: 2024–02
  3. By: Antea Barišić; Mahdi Ghodsi (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Michael Landesmann (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: This paper explores the complex interplay between technology adoption, specifically robotisation and digitalisation, and international migration within the EU and other advanced economies, including Australia, the UK, Japan, Norway and the US, over the period 2001-2019. Utilising a gravity model approach grounded in neoclassical migration theory, the study analyses how technological advancements influence migration flows. It examines two key technological variables the extent of digitalisation, represented by ICT capital per person employed, and the adoption of industrial robots, measured by the stock of robots per thousand workers. The research uniquely integrates these technological factors into migration analysis, considering both push and pull effects. Additionally, it accounts for various other migration determinants such as macroeconomic conditions, demography and policy factors. The findings reveal insightful dynamics about the relationships between technological progress, labour market conditions and migration patterns, contributing significantly to the current literature and informing future migration policies and the impact of technology adoption.
    Keywords: Robot adoption, digitalisation, novel innovation, migrant workers
    JEL: O33 F22 D24
    Date: 2024–02
  4. By: Morris, Julia
    Abstract: The last decade and a half have seen a dramatic increase in the outsourcing and offshoring of asylum processing and resettlement to countries in the Global South. This article advances a new theoretical framework to examine the surge in new asylum regimes worldwide. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in several externalised asylum sites and specifically in Guatemala, it looks at these recent developments through the lens of ‘resource frontiers.’ Merging criti-cal political ecological approaches on resource frontiers with research on migration exter-nalisation, I argue that ‘asylum frontiers’ are the social spaces connected to the exploration and development of a resource sector that extracts value from people on the move. I centre my analysis on the US-driven development of an asylum regime in Guatemala’s northern Pe-tén region. I consider the specificities of Guatemala’s emerging asylum frontier, detailing how this arrangement sits with the country’s own histories of asylum and enforced return. In tracing how different political actors – migrants, Indigenous Mayan refugees, and deport-ed Guatemalans – ‘live with’ these frontier economies, I show how individuals also utilise state framings to advance their own frontiers.
    Date: 2024–02–05
  5. By: Dahlberg, Matz (Uppsala University); Egebark, Johan (Arbetsförmedlingen); Vikman, Ulrika (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: This study uses a randomized control trial (RCT) to evaluate a new program for increased labor market integration of refugees. The program has immediate and substantial short-run effects on employment, corresponding to around 15 percentage points. The effect lasts for three years but eventually fades out, as the control group catches up and reaches the long-run employment level of about 50 percent. We show that the program boosts language skills in the short run, and that this channel explains an increasing share of the effect on employment. Using survey data, we finally measure if the program affects integration in other dimensions, such as psychological, social, political, and navigational integration. Our findings suggest that faster labor market integration in the short run does not lead to increased general integration in the long run.
    Keywords: Refugee immigration; Multidimensional integration; Randomized control trial; Field experiment; Labor market program; Employment;
    JEL: C93 J08 J15
    Date: 2023–12–13
  6. By: Felipe M. Gonçalves; Elisa Jácome; Emily K. Weisburst
    Abstract: How does immigration enforcement affect public safety? Heightened enforcement could reduce crime by deterring and incapacitating immigrant offenders or, alternatively, increase crime by discouraging victims from reporting offenses. We study the U.S. Secure Communities program, which expanded interior enforcement against unauthorized immigrants. Using national survey data, we find that the program reduced the likelihood that Hispanic victims reported crimes to police and increased the victimization of Hispanics. Total reported crimes are unchanged, masking these opposing effects. We provide evidence that reduced Hispanic reporting is the key driver of increased victimization. Our findings underscore the importance of trust in institutions as a central determinant of public safety.
    JEL: J15 K37 K42
    Date: 2024–02
  7. By: Antea Barišić; Mahdi Ghodsi (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw); Robert Stehrer (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: In recent decades, the development of novel technologies has intensified due to globalisation, prompting countries to enhance competitiveness through innovation. These technologies have significantly improved global welfare, particularly in sectors like healthcare, where they have facilitated tasks and boosted productivity, for example playing a crucial role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. However, certain technologies, such as robots, can negatively impact employment by replacing workers and tasks. Additionally, the emergence of artificial intelligence as digital assets not only replaces specific tasks but also introduces complexities that may displace employees who are unable to adapt. While the existing literature extensively explores the heterogeneous effects of these technologies on labour markets, studies of their impact on migrant workers remain scarce. This paper presents pioneering evidence on the effects of various novel technologies on migrant employment in the European Union. The analysis covers 18 EU member states from 2005 to 2019 focusing on the impact of novel innovations, robot adoption, three types of digital assets, and total factor productivity, on migrant employment. The key findings reveal that innovations measured by the number of granted patents increase both the number and proportion of migrant workers relative to the overall workforce. While robots do replace jobs, their impact on native workers surpasses that of migrant workers, resulting in a higher share of migrant workers following robot adoption. Total factor productivity positively influences migrant workers, while the effects of digital assets are heterogeneous. Moreover, the impacts of these technologies on migrant workers vary significantly across different occupation types and educational levels.
    Keywords: Robot adoption, digitalisation, novel innovation, migrant workers
    JEL: O33 F22 D24
    Date: 2024–02
  8. By: Getachew, Abis; Höckel, Lisa Sofie; Kuhnt, Jana; Muhumad, Abdirahman A.; von Schiller, Armin
    Abstract: In pursuit of employment opportunities and increased productivity, governments and donors have the highest ambitions for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems. Most prominently, TVET is expected to facilitate access to employment and a qualified workforce by offering its graduates skills that the labour market demands. Beyond its employment impacts, TVET supporters also anticipate that it will improve societal outcomes such as inclusion, gender equality and social cohesion. Access to the labour market plays an essential role in allowing displaced populations to sustain their livelihoods and to foster socio-economic integration. Long-term displacement situations and a decline in resettlement opportunities have spurred the quest for local integration in countries of first asylum. It is in this context that TVET has gained additional salience in the past decade. Does TVET live up to these promises? Overall, systematic empirical evidence on the impact of TVET is limited and often inconsistent. In terms of employment and income, evidence suggests that there is a small positive effect, but time plays an important factor. Often, impacts are only seen in the medium- to long-term, and in general, programmes tend to work better for the long-term unemployed. Evidence of societal effects is even more limited; there is a large gap of knowledge on the potential social cohesion impacts of TVET. Given the amount of funding and the high expectations found in the policy discourse, it is essential to better understand if and how TVET measures contribute to achieving their self-declared goals. In this brief, we present the results of an accompanying research study of an inclusive TVET programme implemented by the German development cooperation organisation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Ethiopia. In this programme, host and refugee participants are jointly trained, with the explicit goals of fostering social cohesion and improving employment opportunities. The results indicate that while the social cohesion effect seems remarkable on several dimensions, the income and employment effect is at best weak and materialises only for specific groups of individuals. Qualitative and quantitative evidence supports the validity of the approach to achieve social cohesion. More than design or implementation problems, the lack of stronger employment effects appears to be driven by structural context conditions like limited labour market absorption capacity, legal work permission constraints, gender barriers and similar hindering factors. We derive the following main recommendations from the analysis: TVET measures need a careful context analysis (including labour market capacities, legal work barriers) to ensure that the necessary conditions for TVET to succeed are in place. This is particularly relevant in terms of employment effects, which appear to be elusive.Inclusive TVET measures seem to be an effective tool to improve social cohesion. However, if social cohesion effects are valued not just as an 'add-on' to employment effects but as primary goals, the question arises if alternative interventions might be more efficient. This question is particularly salient given the modest evidence regarding employment and income effects.The evidence base of the impact of (inclusive) TVET programmes needs to be expanded. Knowledge gaps that need to be closed include TVET's impact on displaced populations, its potential societal effects, differential gender effects, and medium- to long-term employment and income effects.
    Keywords: Ethiopia, GIZ, social coehsion, forced displacement and miration, TVET
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Biehler, Nadine; Kobler, Barbara; Meier, Amrei
    Abstract: Record numbers of violent conflicts are causing growing needs for humanitarian aid, especially in situations of forced displacement. Given the scarcity of resources, many actors seek to provide more effective, efficient and needs-based support. That is also the objective of the humanitarian, development and peace nexus (HDP nexus). The main added value of the HDP nexus in situations of forced displacement lies in its comprehensive perspective on peace, which extends beyond social cohesion and creates space for political solutions and conflict transformation. The latter is a precondition for durable solutions for forcibly displaced people. The German government can actively support this by disseminating and deepening nexus expertise and improving accountability to affected populations.
    Keywords: humanitarian aid, development cooperation, peacebuilding, humanitarian, development and peace nexus (HDP nexus), forced displacement, Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP)
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Xiao Chen; Hanwei Huang; Jiandong Ju; Ruoyan Sun; Jialiang Zhang
    Abstract: We study infectious diseases in a spatial epidemiology model with forward-looking individuals who weigh disease environments against economic opportunities when moving across regions. This endogenous mobility allows regions to share risk and health resources, resulting in positive epidemiological externalities for regions with high R0s. We develop the Normalized Hat Algebra to analyze disease and mobility dynamics. Applying our model to US data, we find that cross-state mobility controls that hinder risk and resource sharing increase COVID-19 deaths and decrease social welfare. Conversely, by enabling "self-containment" and "self-healing, " endogenous mobility reduces COVID-19 infections by 27.6% and deaths by 22.1%.
    Keywords: SIRD model, spatial economy, endogenous mobility, basic reproduction number, Normalized Hat Algebra, containment policies, Covid-19
    Date: 2024–02–12
  11. By: Umut Unal; Bernd Hayo; Isil Erol
    Abstract: We are grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for partially funding the acquisition of data from the Regional Real Estate Information System (RIWIS) and to Duncan Roth of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) for providing us with the early unemployment rate series at the district level in Germany. We would also like to thank the participants at the Southwestern Society of Economists in association with the Federation of Business Disciplines, held in Houston, TX, 8-11 March 2023, for helpful comments and the organizers of that conference for awarding us the ‘McGraw Hill / Irwin Distinguished Paper Award’. We would also like to thank the participants of the AsRES GCREC Joint International Real Estate Conference in Hong Kong SAR, the MAGKS Workshop in Rauischholzhausen and the research seminars at Toyo University in Tokyo and Masaryk University in Brno. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their insightful comments and suggestions.
    Keywords: Immigration; Housing prices; Rents; Instrumental variable; IV quantile regression; German housing market
    JEL: J61 R23 R31
    Date: 2024–01–18
  12. By: Barbara Boelmann (University of Cologne, Department of Economics and ECONtribute: Markets Public Policy, SSC, Universitätsstraße 22, 50937 Cologne, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper shows that the local availability of universities acted as a catalyst in the catch-up of women in higher education that has been documented for developed countries in the latter half of the 20th century. It uses the foundation of new univer- sities in the 1960s and 1970s in West German regions which previously did not have a university as a case study to understand how women’s mobility and education decisions interact. I first document women’s low regional mobility in post-war West Germany along with their low educational attainment. Second, I exploit that the university expansion exogenously brought universities to women’s doorsteps in a difference-in- differences (DiD) strategy. Comparing regions which experienced a university opening within 20 km to those where no university was opened, I show that women benefited more than men from a close-by university opening, closing the local gender gap in university education by about 72%. Third, I provide evidence that local universities partly increased university education through reduced costs, while part of the effect is due to higher expected returns, highlighting an important second channel through which universities promote education to local youths.
    Keywords: college gender gap, geographic mobility, university expansion
    JEL: I23 I24 I28 J16
    Date: 2024–02

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.