nep-mig New Economics Papers
on Economics of Human Migration
Issue of 2024‒06‒10
nine papers chosen by
Yuji Tamura,  La Trobe University

  1. Did Merkel's 2015 decision attract more migration to Germany? By Tjaden, Jasper; Heidland, Tobias
  2. The Externalities of Immigration Policies on Migration Flows: The Case of an Asylum Policy By Guichard, Lucas; Machado, Joël
  3. Internal migration after a uniform minimum wage introduction By Alexander Moog
  4. Partial Legalization and Parallel Markets: The Effect of Lawful Crossing on Unlawful Crossing at the US Southwest Border By Clemens, Michael A.
  5. The Electoral Politics of Immigration and Crime By Alizade, Jeyhun
  6. Work from Home and Interstate Migration By Alexander Bick; Adam Blandin; Karel Mertens; Hannah Rubinton
  7. Demographic Dynamics and Immigration Policies in High-Income Countries By Eduardo Andrade; Otaviano Canuto
  8. Heterogenous Mental Health Impacts of a Forced Relocation: The Red Zone in Christchurch after Its 2011 Earthquake By Thoa Hoang; Van Thinh Le; Ilan Noy
  9. Building pathways out of poverty in Baidoa, Somalia: Qualitative evidence around resilience in the context of flood shocks By Magan, Mohamed; Hassan, Hashi; Leight, Jessica; Hirvonen, Kalle; Karachiwalla, Naureen; Rakshit, Deboleena

  1. By: Tjaden, Jasper; Heidland, Tobias
    Abstract: In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to allow over a million asylum seekers to cross the border into Germany. One key concern was that her decision would signal an open‐door policy to aspiring migrants worldwide – thus further increasing migration to Germany and making the country permanently more attractive to irregular and humanitarian migrants. This ‘pull‐effect’ hypothesis has been a mainstay of policy discussions ever since. With the continued global rise in forced displacement, not appearing welcoming to migrants has become a guiding principle for the asylum policy of many large receiving countries. In this article, we exploit the unique case study that Merkel's 2015 decision provides for answering the fundamental question of whether welcoming migration policies have sustained effects on migration towards destination countries. We analyze an extensive range of data on migration inflows, migration aspirations and online search interest between 2000 and 2020. The results reject the ‘pull effect’ hypothesis while reaffirming states’ capacity to adapt to changing contexts and regulate migration.
    Keywords: migration, policy, refugee, pull effect, Germany
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Guichard, Lucas (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Machado, Joël (LISER)
    Abstract: We analyze the externalities arising from a bilateral asylum policy - the list of safe origin countries - relying on a tractable model. Using self-collected monthly data, we estimate that including one origin country on the safe list of a given destination decreases asylum applications from that origin to that destination by 29%. We use a counterfactual policy simulation to quantify the spillover effects occurring across origin and destination countries. Individuals from targeted origin countries move to alternative destinations. Individuals from untargeted origins divert from alternative destinations. The magnitude of the externalities depends on the size of the affected flows.
    Keywords: migration, asylum seekers, asylum policy, safe origin country, refugee
    JEL: F22 K37 J61
    Date: 2024–04
  3. By: Alexander Moog
    Abstract: Internal migration is an essential aspect to study labor mobility. I exploit the German statutory minimum wage introduction in 2015 to estimate its push and pull effects on internal migration using a 2% sample of administrative data. In a conditional fixed effects Poisson difference-in-differences framework with a continuous treatment, I find that the minimum wage introduction leads to an increase in the out-migration of low-skilled workers with migrant background by 25% with an increasing tendency over time from districts where a high share of workers are subject to the minimum wage (high-bite districts). In contrast the migration decision of native-born low-skilled workers is not affected by the policy. However, both native-born low-skilled workers and those with a migrant background do relocate across establishments, leaving high-bite districts as their workplace. In addition, I find an increase for unemployed individuals with a migrant background in out-migrating from high-bite districts. These results emphasize the importance of considering the effects on geographical labor mobility when implementing and analyzing policies that affect the determinants of internal migration.
    Date: 2024–04
  4. By: Clemens, Michael A. (George Mason University)
    Abstract: Legal and illegal markets often coexist. In theory, marginal legalization can either substitute for the remaining parallel market, or complement it via scale effects. I study migrants crossing without prior authorization at the US southwest border, where large-scale unlawful crossing coexists with substantial, varying, and policy-constrained lawful crossing. I test whether lawful and unlawful crossing are gross substitutes or complements, using lag-augmented local projections to analyze a monthly time-series on the full universe of 10, 658, 497 inadmissible migrants encountered from October 2011 through July 2023. Expanded lawful crossings cause reduced unlawful crossings, an effect that grows over time and reaches elasticity -0.3 after approximately 10 months. That is, in this case, expanded activity on the lawful market substitutes for the parallel market, even net of scale effects. This deterrent effect explains approximately 9 percent of the overall variance in unlawful crossings. In an ancillary finding, I fail to reject a null effect of depenalizing unlawful crossings on future attempted unlawful crossings.
    Keywords: migrant, immigrant, border, unauthorized, undocumented, illegal, unlawful, black market, legal, legalize, depenalize, decriminalize, shadow, parallel market, illicit, clandestine, smuggler, wall, fence, irregular, refugee, asylum
    JEL: F22 J61 K42
    Date: 2024–04
  5. By: Alizade, Jeyhun (WZB Berlin Social Science Center)
    Abstract: Concern that immigration worsens crime problems is prevalent across Western publics. How does it shape electoral politics? Prior research asserted a growing left-right divide in immigration attitudes and voting behavior due to educational realignment. In contrast, I argue that leftist voters are more conservative on immigrant crime than leftist parties, which can drive highly-educated progressives (so-called `cosmopolitans') to right-wing parties. I demonstrate this voter-party mismatch using survey data from 14 Western European countries linked with expert ratings of party positions. A panel survey from Germany further shows that concern about immigrant crime increases vote intention for the center right among voters of the Greens – the party of leftist cosmopolitans. A conjoint experiment among German voters replicates this defection effect and shows that it persists even if the center right stigmatizes immigrants or adopts conservative socio-cultural issue positions. Repercussions of immigration can in fact drive leftist cosmopolitans to the right.
    Date: 2024–04–15
  6. By: Alexander Bick; Adam Blandin; Karel Mertens; Hannah Rubinton
    Abstract: Interstate migration by working-age adults in the US declined substantially during the Great Recession and remained subdued through 2019. We document that interstate migration rose sharply following the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak, nearly recovering to pre-Great recession levels, and provide evidence that this reversal was primarily driven by the rise in work from home (WFH). Before the pandemic, interstate migration by WFH workers was consistently 50% higher than for commuters. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, this migration gap persisted while the WFH share tripled. Using quasi-panel data and plausibly exogenous changes in employer WFH policies, we address concerns about omitted variables or reverse causality and conclude that access to WFH induces greater interstate migration. An aggregate accounting exercise suggests that over half of the rise in interstate migration since 2019 can be accounted for by the rise in the WFH share. Moreover, both actual WFH and pre-pandemic WFH potential, based on occupation shares, can account for a sizable share of cross-state variation in migration.
    Keywords: interstate migration; work from home; remote work; labor mobility
    JEL: J11 J22 J61 O15 R10
    Date: 2024–05–20
  7. By: Eduardo Andrade; Otaviano Canuto
    Abstract: Most high-income countries will experience declines in their populations over the next few decades. Some negative consequences of aging are on the horizon: greater fiscal imbalances and risks of economic stagnation. Immigration may by a way for those countries to mitigate the tendency. On the source side of immigration flows, brain drain is a risk. The policy paper presents the case of Japan, a nation that has grappled with the consequences of a declining and aging population for several years, as an example for other countries destined to confront similar circumstances in the forthcoming decades. Population aging is a strong trend in place. Some negative consequences of aging are on the horizon: greater fiscal imbalances and the risk of economic stagnation. Most high-income countries will experience a decline in their populations over the next few decades, and immigration is a way to offset this tendency. On the source side of immigration flows, ‘brain drain’ is a risk.
    Date: 2024–04
  8. By: Thoa Hoang; Van Thinh Le; Ilan Noy
    Abstract: People are sometimes forced to move, and it has often been hypothesised that such relocation involves significant psychological costs. The challenge in identifying the mental health consequences of moving is that most moves are (partly) voluntary. We use a natural experiment, the mandated relocation of some households after an exogenous shock, to identify the causal impact of moving on people’s mental health. The event we focus on is the 2011 Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquake, and the consequent decision of the central government to relocate about 8000 households from some of the affected area. We use a comprehensive administrative dataset that includes health records with information on hospital attendance, specialist services, and prescribed medications for (almost) every resident in the city. We find a statistically significant increase in the likelihood and frequency of receiving treatment for moderate mental health problems among individuals compelled to relocate, when compared to other residents of the earthquake-affected city who were allowed to remain in situ. This increase persisted to December 2013 for everyone but remained significant for the elderly across the whole examined period to the end of 2018. We found no such increase for more severe mental health incidents that required more acute interventions.
    Keywords: mental health, managed retreat, disaster risk, relocation, difference-in-difference
    JEL: I10 Q54
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Magan, Mohamed; Hassan, Hashi; Leight, Jessica; Hirvonen, Kalle; Karachiwalla, Naureen; Rakshit, Deboleena
    Abstract: Somalia is among the most impoverished nations globally, grappling with severe poverty, persistent armed conflicts, and recurrent droughts and floods, leading to a humanitarian crisis marked by substantial internal displacement. The site of this evaluation, Baidoa, has 517 sites for internally displaced persons (IDPs), housing nearly 600, 000 households. Notably, 64% of the residents in these sites are women and girls. The 2nd Somali High-Frequency Survey revealed that poverty is particularly pronounced in IDP settlements, compounded by high unemployment rates and a lack of income-generating opportunities, thereby exacerbating the challenging circumstances in this area. This brief reports findings from a qualitative assessment conducted in January 2024 exploring the effects of severe floods in Baidoa and the role of the Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) intervention in protecting households from these shocks.
    Keywords: conflicts; flooding; households; poverty; women; Africa; Eastern Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Somalia
    Date: 2024

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