How a host country can best assimilate immigrants is understandably on Western European governments’ minds. This column presents new evidence suggesting that immigrants in Italy who live in neighbourhoods with a large share of non-Italians are significantly less likely to be in employment than their counterparts in less segregated areas. The data suggests that policymakers should note that the negative effect of a large migrant share on employment is magnified by the presence of illegal immigrants.
Tito Boeri, Marta De Philippis, Eleonora Patacchini, Michele Pellizzari, Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 00:00
Simone Moriconi, Giovanni Peri, Monday, October 19, 2015 - 00:00
Unemployment rates vary widely across EU countries. While national institutions and policies explain much of the variation, cultural values, attitudes, and beliefs may also play a role. This column uses survey data from 26 EU countries to investigate the existence of culturally transmitted preferences for work. Country-specific preferences for work are found to have a positive effect on emigrants’ labour market outcomes, with those from countries with an above-average preference for work having higher employment rates abroad. Cultural preferences are significant enough that EU countries may never converge to the same employment rate.
Emilie Anér, Anna Graneli, Magnus Lodefalk, Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 00:00
A large body of research has established a positive link between immigrants and bilateral trade. However, the temporary movement of people across borders has received less attention. This column uses Swedish data to analyse the impact of temporary cross-border movement on trade. Recently arrived migrants are found to reduce the negative impact of distance on foreign trade, by assisting firms to overcome informal and informational barriers to trade with their origin country. Facilitating movement of people across borders can be a highly useful tool for engaging in and benefitting from specialised and internationalised production networks.
Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, Giovanni Peri, Greg C. Wright, Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 00:00
International trade in services and immigration are among the fastest growing aspects of globalisation. Using UK data, this column explores the links between these phenomena. Immigrants promote exports of final services to their home countries, while also reducing imports for some intermediate services, and bringing productivity gains to the labour market. In designing immigration policies, it is important that the potential impact on exports and offshoring activities are carefully considered.
Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka, Benjarong Suwankiri, Saturday, January 17, 2015 - 00:00
Ian Preston, Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 00:00
Frédéric Docquier, Çağlar Özden, Giovanni Peri, Monday, October 6, 2014 - 00:00
Michele Battisti, Gabriel Felbermayr, Giovanni Peri, Panu Poutvaara, Friday, August 8, 2014 - 00:00
Immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic in most OECD countries. Economic models emphasising the benefits of immigration for natives have typically neglected unemployment and redistribution – precisely the things voters are most concerned about. This column analyses the effects of immigration in a world with labour market rigidities and income redistribution. In two-thirds of the 20 countries analysed, both high-skilled and low-skilled natives would benefit from a small increase in immigration from current levels. The average welfare gains from immigration are 1.25% and 1.00% for high- and low-skilled natives, respectively.
Francesco Giavazzi, Ivan Petkov, Fabio Schiantarelli, Monday, June 16, 2014 - 00:00
The persistence of cultural attitudes is an important determinant of the success of institutional reforms, and of the impact of immigration on a country’s culture. This column presents evidence from a study of European immigrants to the US. Some cultural traits – such as deep religious values – are highly persistent, whereas others – such as attitudes towards cooperation and redistribution – change more quickly. Many cultural attitudes evolve significantly between the second and fourth generations, and the persistence of different attitudes varies across countries of origin.
Timothy J Hatton, Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 00:00
In the recent European Parliament elections, right-wing populist parties made significant gains. Commentators have linked the rise of these parties to growing anti-immigration sentiment in the wake of the crisis. This column examines the extent to which public opinion has in fact shifted against immigration. Survey data shows that there was no Europe-wide surge in anti-immigration opinion between 2006 and 2010, although there was a marked change in Spain, Greece, and Ireland. This suggests that populist parties’ success cannot be attributed to anti-immigration sentiment alone.
Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, Chad Sparber, Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 00:00
Immigrants to the US are drawn from both ends of the education spectrum. This column looks at the effect of highly educated immigrants – in particular, those with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics – on total factor productivity growth. The authors find that foreign STEM workers can explain 30% to 60% of US TFP growth between 1990 and 2010.
John Helliwell, Shun Wang, Jinwen Xu, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 00:00
Social norms have been shown to have important effects on economic outcomes. This column discusses new evidence showing that social norms are deeply rooted in long-standing cultures, but do evolve in reaction to major changes. It draws on a fully global sample involving migrants in more than 130 countries, using seven waves of the Gallup World Poll.
Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 00:00
Charlotte Geay, Sandra McNally, Shqiponja Telhaj, Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 00:00
Are children who are non-native speakers making education worse for native speakers? Presenting new research on England, this column uses two different research strategies showing that there are, in fact, no spillover effects. These results support other recent studies on the subject. The growing proportion of non-native English speakers in primary schools should not be a cause for concern.
Giovanni Peri, Agnese Romiti, Mariacristina Rossi, Sunday, September 8, 2013 - 00:00
Elderly people assisted by immigrant carers, rather than by their sons and daughters, has become a common feature of many European countries. This column presents evidence from Italy suggesting that the immigrant presence in the home-care sector has allowed women, especially those with elderly parents, to retire from their jobs later. Increasing the retirement age has to happen over the coming decades to ensure the sustainability of developed countries’ pension systems.
Brian C Cadena, Brian Kovak, Monday, August 12, 2013 - 00:00
In the US, fewer and fewer people are moving long distances to pursue job opportunities. Presenting new research on Mexican immigrants in the US, this column argues that there are large welfare gains from the efficient spatial allocation of labour. However, welfare gains from the movement of labour are woefully understudied. If immigrants are more willing to move for a job than natives, policymakers should allow them to do so with ease. Workers should be free to move to markets offering better opportunities.
Asako Ohinata, Jan van Ours, Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 00:00
Some European media have expressed concerns that the presence of immigrant children in schools may reduce the educational outcomes of native children. Analysing data from the Netherlands, this column finds that after controlling for differences within schools, the educational achievement of native children is almost completely unaffected by the presence of immigrant children.
Simone Bertoli, Jesús Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Monday, January 28, 2013 - 00:00
Migration policy is a pressing issue, but our empirical understanding of it is wanting. This column introduces new estimation techniques for identifying the impact of immigration policies. The novelty is to account for third-country effects since migrants have more options than staying home and moving to the hoped-for destination. Looking at bilateral policies in isolation misses this externality. Disregarding such ‘multilateral resistance to migration’ leads to an underestimation of the effect of bilateral migration policies, and thus potentially leading to severe policy mistakes.
Alireza Naghavi, Chiara Strozzi, Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 00:00
Does emigration create a brain drain or – as commentators have recently been suggesting – do diasporas in fact represent a net brain gain? This column argues that if sending countries can protect intellectual property rights, they will foster the necessary diaspora knowledge networks to significantly help economic development in sending countries.
Jennifer Hunt, Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 00:00
Are poorly-educated immigrants’ kids dragging native classmates down? Or do schoolchildren push themselves when new, smarter immigrants join their class? This column argues that although child immigrants may sometimes bring down native minorities, on the whole, poorly educated natives upgrade their education in response to new immigrants in the classroom.