Kevin Lewis

June 22, 2011

Hit and (they will) run: The impact of terrorism on migration

Axel Dreher, Tim Krieger & Daniel Meierrieks
Economics Letters, forthcoming

We analyze the influence of terrorism on migration for 152 countries during 1976-2000. We find robust evidence that terrorism is among the 'push factors' of skilled migration, whereas it is not robustly associated with average migration.


Voting for president in the U.S.-Mexico border region

Richard Adkisson & Eduardo Saucedo
Social Science Journal, June 2011, Pages 273-282

Reasoning that life in the U.S.-Mexico border region is sufficiently different from life in non-border regions this paper asks whether proximity to the border has a significant impact on presidential voting. County level data from four border states, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, over five presidential elections, 1992-2008, are examined using a both cross-sectional and panel data analysis. The authors conclude that there is a border effect that favors Democratic candidates and that fades as distance from the border increases.


Where on Earth is Everybody? The Evolution of Global Bilateral Migration 1960-2000

Çaglar Özden et al.
World Bank Economic Review, forthcoming

Global matrices of bilateral migrant stocks spanning 1960-2000 are presented, disaggregated by gender and based primarily on the foreign-born definition of migrants. More than one thousand census and population register records are combined to construct decennial matrices corresponding to the five census rounds between 1960 and 2000. For the first time, a comprehensive picture of bilateral global migration over the second half of the 20th century emerges. The data reveal that the global migrant stock increased from 92 million in 1960 to 165 million in 2000. Quantitatively, migration between developing countries dominates, constituting half of all international migration in 2000. When the partition of India and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are accounted for, migration between developing countries is remarkably stable over the period. Migration from developing to developed countries is the fastest growing component of international migration in both absolute and relative terms. The United States has remained the most important migrant destination in the world, home to one fifth of the world's migrants and the top destination for migrants from some 60 sending countries. Migration to Western Europe has come largely from elsewhere in Europe. The oil-rich Persian Gulf countries emerge as important destinations for migrants from the Middle East and North Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Finally, although the global migrant stock is predominantly male, the proportion of female migrants increased noticeably between 1960 and 2000. The number of women rose in every region except South Asia.


Immigration, Jobs and Employment Protection: Evidence from Europe

Francesco D'Amuri & Giovanni Peri
NBER Working Paper, June 2011

In this paper we analyze the effect of immigrants on native jobs in fourteen Western European countries. We test whether the inflow of immigrants in the period 1996-2007 decreased employment rates and/or if it altered the occupational distribution of natives with similar education and age. We find no evidence of the first but significant evidence of the second: immigrants took "simple" (manual-routine) type of occupations and natives moved, in response, toward more "complex" (abstract-communication) jobs. The results are robust to the use of an IV strategy based on past settlement of different nationalities of immigrants across European countries. We also document the labor market flows through which such a positive reallocation took place: immigration stimulated job creation, and the complexity of jobs offered to new native hires was higher relative to the complexity of destructed native jobs. Finally, we find evidence that the occupation reallocation of natives was significantly larger in countries with more flexible labor laws. This tendency was particularly strong for less educated workers.


Stranger at the Gate: The Effect of the Plaintiff's use of an Interpreter on Juror Decision-Making

Daniel Shuman, Lynne Stokes & George Martinez
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, forthcoming

There exists a substantial literature examining the effect on juror decision-making of extraneous demographic characteristics of plaintiffs and defendants. In most of these studies, members of groups that are perceived as being minorities or as belonging to one of a variety of outgroups (lower socioeconomic status, immigrants) are treated more harshly by jurors, or are perceived as being less deserving or credible. In this study, the authors examine treatment by jurors of a relatively less well investigated outgroup: that of the non-English speaker. An experiment was conducted in which actual jurors in a large urban county were randomly assigned to view a videotape of a civil case. Three versions of the videotapes were identical except that, on one, the plaintiff required an interpreter to communicate and it is approximately three minutes longer than the other two. On the other two versions, the plaintiff spoke English, but differed in ethnicity (Hispanic or Anglo). The findings showed that the non-English-speaking plaintiff did not fare worse than the English speakers, and, in fact, was awarded higher mean damages than either of the English speakers.


Economic Migration and Happiness: Comparing Immigrants' and Natives' Happiness Gains From Income

David Bartram
Social Indicators Research, August 2011, Pages 57-76

Research on happiness casts doubt on the notion that increases in income generally bring greater happiness. This finding can be taken to imply that economic migration might fail to result in increased happiness for the migrants: migration as a means of increasing one's income might be no more effective in raising happiness than other means of increasing one's income. This implication is counterintuitive: it suggests that migrants are mistaken in believing that economic migration is a path to improving one's well-being, at least to the extent that well-being means (or includes) happiness. This paper considers a scenario in which it is less likely that migrants are simply mistaken in this regard. The finding that increased incomes do not lead to greater happiness is an average (non)effect-and migrants might be exceptional in this regard, gaining happiness from increased incomes to a greater extent than most people. The analysis here, using data from the World Values Survey, finds that the association between income and happiness is indeed stronger for immigrants in the USA than for natives - but even for immigrants that association is still relatively weak. The discussion then considers this finding in light of the fact that immigrants also report lower levels of happiness than natives after controlling for other variables.


Ethnic intermarriage among immigrants: Human capital and assortative mating

Barry Chiswick & Christina Houseworth
Review of Economics of the Household, June 2011, Pages 149-180

This paper analyzes the determinants of interethnic marriages by immigrants in the United States. The dependent variable is intermarriage across ethnic groups (on the basis of ancestry and country of birth) and the inclusion of the explanatory variables is justified by a simple rational choice economic model. A binomial logistic regression is estimated using data from the 1980 US Census, the last Census where post-migration marriages can be identified. Results show that the probability of intermarriage increases the longer a migrant resides in the U.S. and the younger the age at arrival. Both relationships can be attributable to the accumulation of US-specific human capital and an erosion of ethnic-specific human capital. Inter-ethnic marriages are more likely between individuals with similar education levels, providing evidence of positive assortative mating by education for immigrants. The construction of the "availability ratio" for potential spouses from one's own group and group size where one lives using data from several Censuses provides a the measure of the marriage market. Intermarriage is lower the greater the availability ratio and the larger the size of one's own group. Linguistic distance of the immigrant's mother tongue from English indirectly measures the effect of English language proficiency at arrival and is found to be a significant negative predictor of intermarriage. Those who report multiple ancestries and who were previously married are more likely to intermarry.


Means, Motive, And Opportunity In Becoming Informed About Politics: A Deliberative Field Experiment With Members Of Congress And Their Constituents

Kevin Esterling, Michael Neblo & David Lazer
Public Opinion Quarterly, forthcoming

Deliberative theorists emphasize that citizens' capacity to become informed when given a motive and the opportunity to participate in politics is important for democratic citizenship. We assess this capacity among citizens using a deliberative field experiment. In the summer of 2006, we conducted a field experiment in which we recruited twelve current members of the U.S. Congress to discuss immigration policy with randomly drawn small groups of their constituents. We find that constituents demonstrate a strong capacity to become informed in response to this opportunity. The primary mechanism for knowledge gains is subjects' increased attention to policy outside the context of the experiment. This capacity for motivated learning seems to be spread widely throughout the population, in that it is unrelated to prior political knowledge.


Region of Birth and Disability Among Recent U.S. Immigrants: Evidence from the 2000 Census

Cheng Huang et al.
Population Research and Policy Review, June 2011, Pages 399-418

This study aimed to test the "healthy immigrant" hypothesis and assess health heterogeneity among newly arrived working-age immigrants (18-64 years) from various regions of origin. Using the 5% sample of the 2000 U.S. Census (PUMS), we found that, compared with their native-born counterparts, immigrants from all regions of the world were less likely to report mental disability and physical disability. Immigrants from selected regions of origin were, however, more likely to report work disability. Significant heterogeneity in disabilities exists among immigrants: Those from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia reported the highest risk of mental and physical disability, and those from East Asia reported the lowest risk of physical disability. Furthermore, Mexican immigrants reported the lowest risk of mental disability, and Canadian immigrants reported the lowest risk of work disability. Socioeconomic status and English proficiency partially explained these differences. The health advantage of immigrants decreased with longer U.S. residence.


The Religiosity of Immigrants in Europe: A Cross-National Study

Frank Van Tubergen & Jórunn Sindradóttir
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, June 2011, Pages 272-288

This study examines cross-national differences in the religiosity of immigrants in Europe utilizing three different measures of religiosity: religious attendance, praying, and subjective religiosity. Hypotheses are formulated by drawing upon a variety of theories-scientific worldview, insecurity, religious markets, and social integration. The hypotheses are tested using European Social Survey data (2002-2008) from more than 10,000 first-generation immigrants living in 27 receiving countries. Multilevel models show that, on the individual level, religiosity is higher among immigrants who are unemployed, less educated, and who have recently arrived in the host country. On the contextual level, the religiosity of natives positively affects immigrant religiosity. The models explain about 60 percent of the cross-national differences in religious attendance and praying of immigrants and about 20 percent of the cross-national differences in subjective religiosity.


Using Achievement Tests to Measure Language Assimilation and Language Bias among the Children of Immigrants

Richard Akresh & Ilana Redstone Akresh
Journal of Human Resources, Summer 2011, Pages 647-667

We measure the extent of language assimilation among children of Hispanic immigrants. Our identification strategy exploits test language randomization (English or Spanish) of Woodcock Johnson achievement tests in the New Immigrant Survey and lets us attribute test score differences solely to test language. Students scoring poorly may be tracked into nonhonors classes and less competitive postsecondary schools, with subsequent long-term implications. Foreign-born children score higher on tests in Spanish; U.S.-born children score higher in English. However, foreign-born children arriving at an early age or with several years in the United States do not benefit from testing in Spanish.


Which Immigrants Are Most Innovative and Entrepreneurial? Distinctions by Entry Visa

Jennifer Hunt
Journal of Labor Economics, July 2011, Pages 417-457

Using the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, I examine how immigrants perform in activities likely to increase U.S. productivity, according to the type of visa on which they first entered the United States. Immigrants who entered on a student/trainee visa or a temporary work visa have a large advantage over natives in wages, patenting, and publishing. Much of the advantage is explained by immigrants' higher education and field of study. Immigrants who entered with legal permanent residence do not outperform natives for any of the outcomes considered. Immigrants are more likely to start companies than similar natives.


The Donner Party and the Rhetoric of Westward Expansion

Mary Stuckey
Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Summer 2011, Pages 229-260

There have been numerous studies of the frontier myth as it operated in the early republic and throughout our history. As a result of this work, we know a lot about the frontier myth, its history, elements, and ideological functioning. We know less, however, about how that myth developed when its ideological elements met the empirical realities of western emigration. I argue that four specific cultural fictions - erasure, civilization, community, and democracy - are integral elements of the larger fiction of the American frontier myth. By understanding them through the vehicle of the Donner Party narratives, we can deepen our understanding of that myth and the ways in which it operates and resonates throughout the national culture and contributes to the development of American national identity.


Comparisons of the success of racial minority immigrant offspring in the United States, Canada and Australia

Jeffrey Reitz, Heather Zhang & Naoko Hawkins
Social Science Research, July 2011, Pages 1051-1066

The educational, occupational and income success of the racial minority immigrant offspring is very similar for many immigrant origins groups in the United States, Canada and Australia. An analysis based on merged files of Current Population Surveys for the United States for the period 1995-2007, and the 2001 Censuses of Canada and Australia, and taking account of urban areas of immigrant settlement, reveals common patterns of high achievement for the Chinese and South Asian second generation, less for other Asian origins, and still less for those of Afro-Caribbean black origins. Relatively lower entry statuses for these immigrant groups in the US are eliminated for the second generation, indicating they experience stronger upward inter-generational mobility. As well, 'segmented assimilation' suggesting downward assimilation of Afro-Caribbean immigrants into an urban underclass in the US, also receives little support.


Does Acculturation Matter?: Food Insecurity and Child Problem Behavior Among Low-Income, Working Hispanic Households

Kathleen Gorman, Karli Kondo Zearley & Stephen Favasuli
Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, May 2011, Pages 152-169

Recent literature has noted that in some cases, less acculturation may be protective against adverse outcomes. This study sought to clarify the relationships between acculturation, food insecurity, and child outcomes. A sample of 339 low-income participants, comprised of non-Hispanic Whites (n = 171), English-speaking Hispanics (n = 89), and Spanish-speaking Hispanics (n = 79) were surveyed on food security and parental reports of child behavior problems. Results showed that Spanish-speaking Hispanics were at a social and economic disadvantage in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites and to English-speaking Hispanics. Spanish-speaking Hispanics reported significantly more concern and the least satisfaction with their children's physical health and had the highest rates of food insecurity. In contrast, on parental reports of child behavior, non-Hispanic Whites were significantly more likely to report problem behavior than either Hispanic group. Overall, the findings do not support the protective role of lower acculturation for Hispanic households. Implications of these findings in light of current research are discussed.


Temporary immigration visas

Oliver Lorz & Karen Schaefer
International Tax and Public Finance, June 2011, Pages 291-303

This paper deals with recent proposals concerning temporary immigration visas as a means to combat the problem of illegal immigration. We set up a simple two-period model of international migration between a poor South and a rich North with temporary visas issued for one period. Because of capital market imperfections, immigrants from the South face additional capital costs when financing the visa fee. In this model, we find that temporary visas can improve welfare in the North if capital costs of the immigrants are sufficiently low. For high capital costs, however, a welfare reduction cannot be ruled out. We extend the model to the case of heterogeneous immigrants and asymmetric information. In this setting, we show that the government in the North may have an incentive to issue temporary visas for those with low capital costs and to tolerate illegal immigration of the others.


High-Skilled Immigrants: How Satisfied Are Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers Employed at American Universities?

Meghna Sabharwal
Review of Public Personnel Administration, June 2011, Pages 143-170

The growing numbers of foreign-born scholars in the academy has triggered interest in investigating the contributions made by foreign-born to the economy of the United States. However, only a handful of studies have examined the work lives of these scientists; this study is a step in that direction. The central question under investigation is "How does job satisfaction of foreign-born faculty members belonging to various citizenship categories compare with native-born citizens?" Understanding the behavior, attitudes, and satisfaction levels of foreign-born faculty members is important to retain them and not lose them to other nations or industry. After controlling for various job, organizational, personal, and cultural factors, the findings of this study indicate that foreign-born faculty members across all citizenship categories express lower job satisfaction than native-born faculty members.


National Debates, Local Responses: The Origins of Local Concern about Immigration in Britain and the United States

Daniel Hopkins
British Journal of Political Science, July 2011, Pages 499-524

Theories of inter-group threat hold that local concentrations of immigrants produce resource competition and anti-immigrant attitudes. Variants of these theories are commonly applied to Britain and the United States. Yet the empirical tests have been inconsistent. This paper analyses geo-coded surveys from both countries to identify when residents' attitudes are influenced by living near immigrant communities. Pew surveys from the United States and the 2005 British Election Study illustrate how local contextual effects hinge on national politics. Contextual effects appear primarily when immigration is a nationally salient issue, which explains why past research has not always found a threat. Seemingly local disputes have national catalysts. The paper also demonstrates how panel data can reduce selection biases that plague research on local contextual effects.


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