This study uses data from the 2005 Albania Living Standards Measurement Study survey to assess the impact of past migration experience of Albanian households on non-farm business ownership through instrumental variables regression techniques. Considering the differences in earning potentials and opportunities for skill acquisition in different destination countries, we differentiate the impact of past household migration experience by main migrant destinations. The study also explores the heterogeneity of impact based on the timing of migration. The empirical results indicate that past household migration experience exerts a positive impact on the probability of owning a non-farm business. While one additional year in Greece increases the probability of household business ownership by roughly 6 percent, a similar experience in Italy or farther destinations raises the probability by over 25 percent. Although past household migration experience for the period of 1990-2000 is positively associated with the likelihood of owning a household enterprise, a similar association does not exist for the period of 2001-2004.
The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the early nineties displaced 1.3 million people. This study uses longitudinal data to document the effects of this displacement on labor market outcomes. To account for endogeneity in displacement, I exploit the fact that the level of violence affected the decision to leave and that pre-war economic performance is orthogonal to local violence levels. I find that displaced Bosnians are less likely to be working relative to the people who stayed. Displaced men experience higher unemployment levels, and displaced women are more likely to drop out of the labor force.
Using two rounds of nationally representative household survey data in this study, we measure the impact on poverty in Nepal of local and international migration for work. We apply an instrumental variables approach to deal with nonrandom selection of migrants and simulate various scenarios for the different levels of migration comparing observed and counterfactual household expenditure distribution. Our results indicate that one-fifth of the poverty reduction in Nepal occurring between 1995 and 2004 can be attributed to higher levels of work-related migration and remittances sent home. We also show that while the increase in international work-related migration was the leading cause of this poverty reduction, domestic migration also played an important role. Our findings demonstrate that strategies for economic growth and poverty reduction in Nepal should consider aspects of the dynamics of domestic and international migration.
How much do migrants stand to gain in income from moving across borders? Answering this question is complicated by non-random selection of migrants from the general population, which makes it hard to obtain an appropriate comparison group of non-migrants. New Zealand allows a quota of Tongans to immigrate each year with a random ballot used to choose among the excess number of applicants. A unique survey conducted by the authors allows experimental estimates of the income gains from migration to be obtained by comparing the incomes of migrants to those who applied to migrate, but whose names were not drawn in the ballot, after allowing for the effect of non-compliance among some of those whose names were drawn. We also conducted a survey of individuals who did not apply for the ballot. Comparing this non-applicant group to the migrants enables assessment of the degree to which non-experimental methods can provide an unbiased estimate of the income gains from migration. We find evidence of migrants being positively selected in terms of both observed and unobserved skills. As a result, non-experimental methods other than instrumental variables are found to overstate the gains from migration by 20-82%, with difference-in-differences and bias-adjusted matching estimators performing best among the alternatives to instrumental variables.
This paper examines the role of migration networks in determining self-selection patterns of Mexico-U.S. migration. A simple theoretical framework shows the impact of networks on migration incentives at different education levels and how this affects the composition of migrant skills. Empirically, we find positive or education-neutral selection in communities with weak migrant networks but negative self-selection in communities with stronger networks. This is consistent with high migration costs driving positive or intermediate self-selection, as advocated by Chiquiar and Hanson (2005), and with negative self-selection being driven by lower returns to education in the United States than in Mexico, as advocated by Borjas (1987).
Households and communities in the Pacific islands are increasingly likely to have some of their most productive members regularly absent due to growing opportunities for seasonal work abroad. If these absences are costly for the family left behind, the net development benefits of seasonal migration will be less than what they appear from remittances and repatriated foreign earnings, and there might be a role for government policies in host and source countries to mitigate some of the effects of absence. This article provides the first evidence of how Pacific island households and communities are affected by and cope with seasonal absences. We find that Tongan households have succeeded in mitigating many of the potential adverse effects associated with seasonal separation of members, whereas households from Vanuatu with members participating in the RSE appear to have suffered some short-term costs in terms of diet and health.
This paper analyzes the sweeping evolution of Albanian migration since 1990, classifying the phenomenon by destination (toward Greece or other countries) and type (temporary or permanent). Using data from the 2002-3 Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) panel data set and the 2001 Housing and Population Census, we show first that the profile of migrants has evolved over time, with the phenomenon spreading to less-educated individuals and to poorer regions of the country. Second, we show that family migration networks and previous personal experience, in conjunction with other individual and household characteristics, are the primary determinants of the decision to migrate. The role of migration networks and personal previous experience varies by type and destination of international migration.
People migrate to improve their well-being. Yet a large literature suggests that migration can be a stressful process, with potentially negative impacts on mental health. However, to truly understand the effect of migration one must compare the mental health of migrants to what their mental health would be had they stayed in their home country. The existing literature is not able to do this. New Zealand allows a quota of Tongans to immigrate each year with a random ballot used to choose amongst the excess number of applicants. Experimental estimates of the mental health effects of migration are obtained by comparing the mental health of migrants who were successful applicants in the random ballot to the mental health of those who applied to migrate under the quota, but whose names were not drawn. Migration is found to lead to improvements in mental health, particularly for women and those with poor mental health.
Recorded remittances to Africa have grown dramatically over the past decade. Yet data limitations still mean relatively little is known about which migrants remit, how much they remit and how their remitting behaviour varies with gender, education, income levels and duration abroad. This paper constructs the most comprehensive remittance database currently available on immigrants in the OECD, containing microdata on more than 12,000 African immigrants. Using this microdata the authors establish several basic facts about the remitting patterns of Africans, and then explore how key characteristics of policy interest relate to remittance behaviour. Africans are found to remit twice as much on average as migrants from other developing countries, and those from poorer African countries are more likely to remit than those from richer African countries. Male migrants remit more than female migrants, particularly among those with a spouse remaining in the home country; more-educated migrants remit more than less educated migrants; and although the amount remitted increases with income earned, the gradient is quite flat over a large range of income. Finally, there is little evidence that the amount remitted decays with time spent abroad, with reductions in the likelihood of remitting offset by increases in the amount remitted conditional on remitting.
This study uses the 2005 Albanian Living Standards Measurement Study Survey and estimates the impact of international migration experience on the occupational mobility of return migrants vis-a-vis working-age Albanian residents that never migrated. Controlling for the non-random nature of international migration and return, the results show that past migration experience increases the likelihood of upward occupational mobility. Since such impact is likely to depend on differences in earning potentials and opportunities for skill acquisition across destination countries, we explore the heterogeneity of impact by host country. The results indicate that the positive effect of past migration experience on upward occupational mobility is driven by past migration experience in Italy and countries further afield, while past migration experience in Greece does not exert any significant impact on mobility outcomes.
The impact of international students in the United States on innovative activity is estimated using a model of idea generation. Results indicate that the presence of foreign graduate students has a significant and positive impact on both future patent applications and future patents awarded to university and non-university institutions. Our central estimates suggest that a 10% increase in the number of foreign graduate students would raise patent applications by 4.5%, university patent grants by 6.8% and non-university patent grants by 5.0%. Thus, reductions in foreign graduate students from visa restrictions could significantly reduce US innovative activity. Increases in skilled immigration also have a positive, but smaller, impact on patenting.
The literature on migration has documented the benefits of sending migrants abroad, but much less attention has been paid to the adverse consequences of international migration on those left behind. In this paper, we examine the role of international migration on the accumulation of human capital in Albania. We ask whether investment in human capital of children growing up in households with international migrants is higher compared with children in households without migrants. We find that, across various model specifications, international migration has a negative effect on education in Albania, with larger negative effects for females in rural areas.
The term "brain drain" dominates popular discourse on high-skilled migration, and for this reason, we use it in this article. However, as Harry Johnson noted, it is a loaded phrase implying serious loss. It is far from clear that such a loss actually occurs in practice; indeed, there is an increasing recognition of the possible benefits that skilled migration can offer both for migrants and for sending countries. This paper builds upon a recent wave of empirical research to answer eight key questions underlying much of the brain drain debate: 1) What is brain drain? 2) Why should economists care about it? 3) Is brain drain increasing? 4) Is there a positive relationship between skilled and unskilled migration? 5) What makes brain drain more likely? 6) Does brain gain exist? 7) Do high-skilled workers remit, invest, and share knowledge back home? 8) What do we know about the fiscal and production externalities of brain drain?
Most studies on Albanian migration have focused on international migrants. This paper contributes to filling a gap in the literature by assessing the impact of internal migration on household well-being. The study draws on the Albania Living Standards Measurement Survey of 2005, with a focus on migrant households oversampled in peri-urban Tirana, who are compared with nonmigrant rural households. Various statistical procedures are used, yielding the following results: income improves through migration but consumption does not because of higher living costs. Moreover, migrant households in peri-urban Tirana live in poor dwelling conditions, are employed in irregular and unstable jobs, and experience health problems, especially in the early years of migration.
The Indian software industry is a prime example of globalisation. The industry has been characterised by large cross-border mobility of its skilled labour force. Using a unique survey of Indian software firms, our paper quantifies the extent and impact of mobility on firm behaviour and performance. Cross-border labour mobility in the paper refers to both temporary and permanent labour flows by Indian software professionals. The picture that emerges is of a highly mobile world in which temporary mobility has been an important characteristic of the industry. A significant number of workers have work experience abroad in a developed country. Moreover, the share of skilled workers with such experience has been positively associated with the incidence of skilled migration from the firm. This suggests network effects are at work. In terms of the impact on performance--as measured by the change in turnover per worker and the change in the employment size of the firm--the paper finds little evidence of a robust adverse effect. Further, the evidence suggests that there have been important external effects at work, as through changes in the willingness of workers to acquire skills, as well as through increased provision of educational services. These have further abated the risk of a brain drain. However...
This article examines the dynamics and causes of the shift in the gender composition of migration, and more particularly, in women's access to migration opportunities and decision-making. Our analysis focuses on Albania, a natural laboratory for studying international migration where outmigration was essentially nonexistent from the end of World War II to the end of the 1980s. Interest in the Albanian case is heightened because of the complex layers of inequality existing at the time when migration began: relatively low levels of inequality within the labor market and educational system's product of the Communist era--while household relations remained heavily steeped in tradition and patriarchy. We use micro-level data from the Albania 2005 Living Standards Measurement Study, including migration histories for family members since migration began. Based on discrete-time hazard models, the analysis shows a dramatic increase in male migration and a gradual and uneven expansion of the female proportion of this international migration. Female migration, which is shown to be strongly associated with education, wealth, and social capital, appears responsive to economic incentives and constraints. Using information on the dependency of female migration to the household demographic structure as well as the sensitivity of female migration to household-level shocks...
This article discusses options to facilitate movement of workers between high-income and developing countries within the framework of trade agreements, focusing on the European Union's partnership agreements with neighbouring countries. Existing frameworks for co-operation offer the possibility of expanding temporary rather than longer-term or permanent movement of workers since extant trade agreements provide scope for negotiating specific market access commitments for services, including those delivered through the cross-border movement of natural persons. Even though the potential for such 'embodied' trade in services will not be anywhere near what would be associated with substantial liberalization of migration regimes, furthering the services trade dimension in the European Union's trade agreements offers significant potential Pareto gains. For the partner countries these gains from temporary movement of service providers are both direct--through greater employment and revenue from providing services in the European Union--and indirect--by helping to increase and sustain higher growth at home.
This paper investigates the occupational placement of immigrants in the US labor market using census data. We find striking differences among highly educated immigrants from different countries, even after we control for individuals' age, experience, and level of education. With some exceptions, educated immigrants from Latin American and Eastern European countries are more likely to end up in unskilled jobs than immigrants from Asia and industrial countries. A large part of the variation can be explained by attributes of the country of origin that influence the quality of human capital, such as expenditure on tertiary education and the use of English as a medium of instruction. These findings suggest that "underplaced" migrants suffer primarily from low (or poorly transferable) skills rather than skill underutilization. The selection effects of US immigration policy also play an important role in explaining cross-country variation. The observed under-placement of educated migrants might be alleviated if home and host countries cooperate by sharing information on labor market conditions and work toward the recognition of qualifications.
Access to social protection differs widely amongst international migrants. Using new global data on bilateral migrant stocks, social security law, and bilateral social security agreements, we quantify the status of social protection of international migrants as belonging to one of four different regimes. Results suggest that approximately one quarter of global migrants fall under the most favorable regime, but these are largely north-north migrants. On the other hand, migrants from developing countries, in particular south-south migrants, are in a far less favorable position, having to depend largely on informal networks and self insurance as a way of minimizing risk.
Recorded workers' remittances to developing countries reached $167 billion in 2005, bringing increasing attention to these flows as a potential tool for development. In this paper, we explore the determinants of remittances and their associated transaction costs. We find that recorded remittances depend positively on the stock of migrants and negatively on transfer costs and exchange rate restrictions. In turn, transfer costs are lower when financial systems are more developed and exchange rates less volatile. The negative impact of transactions costs on remittances suggests that migrants either refrain from sending money home or else remit through informal channels when costs are high. We provide evidence from household surveys supportive of a sizeable informal sector.