William Kerr, Martin Mandorff, Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 00:00

Immigrants are more likely to concentrate around specific industries and entrepreneurship. Market integration and discrimination only go a certain way towards explaining this phenomenon. This column explores how social interactions affect immigrants’ employment decisions in the US. Fifteen ethnic groups are found to cluster around certain industries at a rate 10 times greater than the native population. Immigrants are argued to be drawn to the same industries as their countrymen due to the ease of diffusing skills through social interactions in the group, along with higher earnings due to specialisation.

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.

Timothy J Hatton, Friday, June 5, 2015 - 00:00

As a result of the Arab Spring and conflicts in the Middle East, thousands of people have been boarding boats from North Africa and making for Europe. This columns discusses the progress the EU has made in dealing with the situation. Many important decisions and critical actions still need to be made.  

Corrado Giulietti, Jackline Wahba, Yves Zenou, Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 00:00

Frédéric Docquier, Çağlar Özden, Giovanni Peri, Monday, October 6, 2014 - 00:00

Assaf Razin, Efraim Sadka, Monday, September 1, 2014 - 00:00

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.

Giulia Bettin, Andrea F Presbitero, Nikola Spatafora, Monday, February 10, 2014 - 00:00

Remittances are one of the most important financial flows to developing countries – more than three times the level of official development assistance. This column presents recent research on remittance flows from Italy. Their limited volatility and countercyclical behaviour with respect to macroeconomic conditions in the recipient country help mitigate developing countries’ vulnerability to external shocks. Better access to financial services for migrants can foster remittance flows.

Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 00:00

Jan van Ours, Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 00:00

In absolute terms, the Great Recession affected the unemployment rate of non-Western immigrants more than that of native workers in the Netherlands. However, this merely reflects their generally weak labour-market position – job-finding rates are much lower for non-Western immigrants than they are for natives. There is little difference between the cyclical sensitivity of these two groups’ unemployment or job-finding rates. In relative terms, the labour-market position of non-Western immigrants is bad, but the Great Recession did not make it worse.

Simone Bertoli, Francesca Marchetta, Friday, October 4, 2013 - 00:00

Return migrants have major social and economic consequences for their countries of origin. This column uses Egyptian household-level data to analyse the effects of migrants returning from neighbouring Arab countries. Start-up firms by returnees are more likely to survive, and returnee families tend to have more children. These results imply that return migration may not be an unmitigated blessing for Egypt.

Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, Emmanuel Saez, Esben Schultz, Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 00:00

How responsive is international migration by high-skilled workers to tax differentials across countries? This column provides evidence from Denmark suggesting that a preferential scheme was highly successful in attracting rich foreigners. It warns that, absent international tax coordination, preferential tax schemes to high-income foreigners could substantially weaken tax progressivity at the top of the distribution.

Carsten Fink, Ernest Miguelez, Julio Raffo, Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 00:00

Migration is a hot-button issue across the globe. This column summarises new evidence on the patterns of skilled-worker migration, focusing on the specific case of inventors. A novel data source that traces worldwide migration flows for inventors suggests that, excluding a few nuances, the economic incentives for general migration also seem to influence inventors’ migration decisions.

Pierre-Philippe Combes, Sylvie Démurger, Li Shi, Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 00:00

This paper evaluates the role that cities play on individual productivity in China. The authors' results strongly support the productivity gains that can be expected from further migration and urbanisation in China.

Klaus Desmet, Esteban Rossi-Hansberg , Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 00:00

There are two ways to deal with climate change: mitigation and adaptation. This column argues that in order to adapt, we need to take another look at an age-old coping mechanism: migration. Indeed, if overall hotter temperatures lower productivity in hot regions but raise productivity in what are currently cooler regions, the negative economic effects of climate change are likely to stem from frictions preventing the movement of people and goods. Without these frictions, adapting to climate change becomes that much easier. Climate change policy ought to aim at alleviating mobility frictions.

Paola Conconi, Giovanni Facchini, Max Friedrich Steinhardt, Maurizio Zanardi, Monday, January 7, 2013 - 00:00

As populations in rich nations continue to age and skill shortages begin to emerge, concern over getting immigration policy right is set to intensify. This column discusses new research on US policymaking, showing that many of the determinants of policymakers’ attitudes towards trade are also in operation when it comes to migration. Using the Heckscher-Ohlin model, it finds that US House members from districts where skilled labour is abundant are more likely to support both trade liberalisation and a more open policy for unskilled immigration.

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Viola von Berlepsch, Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 00:00

This paper examines the extent to which the distinct settlement pattern of migrants arriving in the US during the big migration waves of the late 19th and early 20th centuries has left a legacy on the economic development of the counties where they settled and whether this legacy can be traced until today.

Yves Zenou, Jackline Wahba, Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 00:00

Are return migrants more likely to become entrepreneurs than non-migrants? This column, using data from Egypt, argues that although migrants lose their social networks whilst overseas, savings and human capital accumulation acquired abroad overcompensate for this loss. This makes return migrants more likely to start businesses.

Çağlar Özden, Christopher Parsons, Maurice Schiff, Terrie Walmsley, Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 00:00

Migration is an issue not helped by misleading statistics and poor data. This column presents a study bringing together over 1,000 national censuses and population registers for 226 countries and regions between 1960 and 2000.

Timothy J Hatton, Friday, July 15, 2011 - 00:00

Tim Hatton of the Australian National University talks to Viv Davies about his book on asylum policy, which assesses what asylum policies have achieved and argues that policy towards asylum seekers should be based on historical insight, quantitative evidence and a realistic view of the political economy of asylum policy. Hatton presents the case for a fully integrated Europe-wide asylum policy. The interview was recorded on 13 July 2011. [Also read the transcript.]


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