Migration and ethnicity
Mobility is important for the functioning of markets and society. Contributions to this subject area deal with issues of national and international mobility, such as demand and supply, and what migration means for natives and migrants and for sending and receiving countries.
Why does unemployment differ for immigrants?
Unemployment risk varies greatly across immigrant groups depending on language skills, culture, and religionStephen Drinkwater, July 2017The adverse effects of unemployment are a cause for concern for all demographic groups but they will be most acute for those experiencing the highest unemployment rates. In particular, high levels of unemployment are observed for a range of immigrant groups across many countries. However, there is considerable variation both across and within countries. It is therefore important to determine the factors that are most likely to cause high rates of unemployment, especially from a migration perspective, and to identify appropriate policy responses (e.g. enhancing human capital and improving job search effectiveness).MoreLess
Why do STEM immigrants do better in one country than another?
Where STEM immigrants were educated strongly influences their economic success and possibly their impact on innovationGarnett PicotFeng Hou, April 2019Canada, the US, and most Western countries are looking to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) immigrants to boost innovation and economic growth. Canada in particular has welcomed many STEM immigrants over the past quarter of a century. In the US, there is an ongoing debate about whether the H–1B visa program is being used effectively to attract more STEM immigrants. Interestingly, significant differences exist between the two countries in earnings and likely the innovation activity of highly educated immigrants, which highlights the likely role of immigration policy in determining such outcomes.MoreLess
Who benefits from the minimum wage—natives or migrants?
There is no evidence that increases in the minimum wage have hurt immigrantsMadeline Zavodny, December 2014According to economic theory, a minimum wage reduces the number of low-wage jobs and increases the number of available workers, allowing greater hiring selectivity. More competition for a smaller number of low-wage jobs will disadvantage immigrants if employers perceive them as less skilled than native-born workers—and vice versa. Studies indicate that a higher minimum wage does not hurt immigrants, but there is no consensus on whether immigrants benefit at the expense of natives. Studies also reach disparate conclusions on whether higher minimum wages attract or repel immigrants.MoreLess
Who benefits from return migration to developing countries? Updated
Despite returnees being a potential resource, not all low- and middle-income countries benefit from their returnJackline Wahba, December 2021Return migration can have multiple benefits. It allows migrants who have accumulated savings abroad to ease credit constraints at home and set up a business. Also, emigrants from low- and middle-income countries who have invested in their human capital may earn higher wages when they return. However, whether the home country benefits from return migrants depends on the migrant's success in accumulating savings and human capital and on the home country's ability to make use of returnees’ skills and investment. To benefit from returnees, home countries need policies that encourage returnees’ investment and labor market reintegration.MoreLess
Where do immigrants retire to?
Immigrants’ retirement decisions can greatly affect health care and social protection costsAugustin De Coulon, September 2016As migration rates increase across the world, the choice of whether to retire in the host or home country is becoming a key decision for up to 15% of the world’s population, and this proportion is growing rapidly. Large waves of immigrants who re-settled in the second half of the 20th century are now beginning to retire. Although immigrants’ location choice at retirement is an area that has barely been studied, this decision has crucial implications for health care and social protection expenditures, both in host and origin countries.MoreLess
What drives the language proficiency of immigrants?
Immigrants differ in their language proficiency along a range of characteristicsIngo E. Isphording, August 2015Language proficiency is a key driver of immigrant integration. It increases job opportunities and facilitates social and political participation. However, despite its vital importance, many immigrants never reach adequate proficiency in the host country language. Therefore, insights into the underlying processes and associated factors are crucial for designing measures to improve language acquisition. Empirical evidence shows that immigrants differ in their ability to learn languages, in their experience of everyday language usage, and their incentives to learn host country languages. This offers a range of opportunities for public policy intervention.MoreLess
What determines the net fiscal effects of migration?
Proactive policies result in a better labor market integrationHolger Hinte, June 2014Do migration policies affect whether immigrants contribute more to public finances than they receive as transfer payments? Yes. But simply accumulating the annual fiscal transfers to and fiscal contributions by migrants is not sufficient to identify the policy impact and the potential need for reform. What is also required is measuring the present value of taxes contributed and transfers received by individuals over their lifespans. Results underscore the need for, and the economic benefits of, active migration and integration strategies.MoreLess
What are the consequences of regularizing undocumented immigrants?
When countries regularize undocumented residents, their work, wages, and human capital investment opportunities changeSherrie A. Kossoudji, September 2016Millions of people enter (or remain in) countries without permission as they flee violence, war, or economic hardship. Regularization policies that offer residence and work rights have multiple and multi-layered effects on the economy and society, but they always directly affect the labor market opportunities of those who are regularized. Large numbers of undocumented people in many countries, a new political willingness to fight for human and civil rights, and dramatically increasing refugee flows mean continued pressure to enact regularization policies.MoreLess
Using a point system for selecting immigrants
A point system can select economically desirable immigrants but it cannot prevent poor labor outcomes for immigrantsMassimiliano Tani, May 2014Restricting immigration to young and skilled immigrants using a point system, as in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, succeeds in selecting economically desirable immigrants and provides orderly management of population growth. But the point system cannot fix short-term skilled labor shortages in a timely manner nor prevent poor labor market outcomes for immigrants, since domestic employers can undervalue schooling and work experience acquired abroad. Furthermore, the efficacy of a point system can be compromised if unscreened visa categories receive higher priority.MoreLess