Economics of Immigration
Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM
- Chair: Sukanya Basu, Vassar College
Is It Merely A Labor Supply Shock? Impacts of Syrian Migrants on Local Economies in Turkey
AbstractWe use a large and geographically varying inflow of over 2.5 million Syrian migrants in Turkey between 2012 and 2015 to study the effect of migration on local economies. Using recently available province-level residence data of Syrian population in Turkey, we do not find adverse employment or wage effects for native-born Turkish workers overall, or those without a high school degree. These results are robust to a range of strategies to construct reliable control groups. On the other hand, we find evidence for a number of channels indicating demand side effects of migration that helped offset the impact of a labor supply shock. Turkish workers’ participation in the formal sector rose in response to the migration, consistent with complementarity of migrants and native born workers. In addition, migration led to an increase in residential building construction, with the number of new dwelling units increasing by more than 33%. Finally, Syrian migration brought in capital and entrepreneurs to the host regions, spurring new business creation: the migration led to a more than 24% increase in new companies, reflecting an increase in both Syrian-founded and non-Syrian founded companies. Our findings suggest that migration-induced increases in regional demand and capital supply enable local labor markets to absorb inflow of migrant labor, and prevent sizable wage decline or job loss for native workers.
Migrants, Ancestors, and Foreign Investments
AbstractWe use 130 years of data on historical migrations to the United States to show a causal
effect of the ancestry composition of US counties on foreign direct investment (FDI) sent
and received by local firms. To isolate the causal effect of ancestry on FDI, we build a simple
reduced-form model of migrations: Migrations from a foreign country to a US county at
a given time depend on (i) a push factor, causing emigration from that foreign country to
the entire United States, and (ii) a pull factor, causing immigration from all origins into
that US county. The interaction between time-series variation in origin-specific push factors
and destination-specific pull factors generates quasi-random variation in the allocation of
migrants across US counties. We find that a doubling of the number of residents with
ancestry from a given foreign country relative to the mean increases by 4 percentage points
the probability that at least one local firm engages in FDI with that country. We present
evidence this effect is primarily driven by a reduction in information frictions, and not by
better contract enforcement, taste similarities, or a convergence in factor endowments.
Rainfall Fluctuation and Selection Patterns of Mexico-United States Migration
AbstractThis paper studies the role of climate fluctuation, changes in rainfall, in determining self-selection patterns of Mexico-U.S. migration. Taking migration costs and returns to education into consideration, a simple theoretical model shows how the climate fluctuation affects migration incentives at different education levels and how this influences the education distribution of migrants. Empirically, we examine the effects of rainfall on Mexicans' migration intention for two education groups separately. In the group of less educated people, those with relatively more years of schooling are more likely to move to the U.S. in a drought year, yet the positive selection is impaired. In the group of more educated people, those with relatively fewer years of schooling are more likely to migrate in a drought year, reinforcing the negative selection.
- J1 - Demographic Economics