Saturday, November 23, 2013

Visualizing Global Migration Flows, 1960-2000

How has bilateral migration flows changed from 1960-2000? Using bilateral flow estimates for 191 countries between 1960 and 2000 from Abel (2013), the R packages igraph and animation, and some stylistic examples from Gabriel Michael,  I create the above animation of change in migrant flows between selected countries (other country subsets are also available). Edge colors are weighted by flow size with darker red edges indicating higher flows while lighter yellow indicating lower flows. Replication code is available at GitHub.

Abel, Guy J. 2013. “Estimating Global Migration Flow Tables Using Place of Birth Data.” Demographic Research 28(March): 505–46.

Monday, March 25, 2013

ISA 2013: Yuan Swap Paper

Sent out my Yuan swap paper with Dan McDowell to ISA 2013. Paper can be accessed here. Abstract copied below:
For several years now China has implemented policies to promote the international use of its national currency, the Renminbi (RMB). As part of these efforts, the People’s Bank of China (PBC) has negotiated 21 bilateral currency swap agreements (BSAs) with foreign central banks that make it easier for firms in both China and its partner countries to settle cross- border trade and direct investment in RMB. The primary goal of this paper is to explain why China and these partner countries are cooperating via BSAs. We argue that trade and direct investment interdependence between China and potential partner countries should be associated with an increased probability of BSA cooperation. We theorize that trade and direct investment interdependence is linked to BSA cooperation via two mechanisms: (1) trade financing insulation from international liquidity shocks and (2) reduced transaction costs of cross-border trade and direct investment for local firms. Controlling for a number of other potentially relevant factors, our empirical results support a trade interdependence hypothesis: the probability that a country enters a BSA with the PBC increases as it becomes increasingly trade dependent on China. However, this effect is most robust when China is also highly trade dependent on the partner country. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

High and Low Skilled Migrants on the Move

Brain drain could drain the high-income economy
This special issue, dedicated to the theme of "Migration, Diaspora and the Brain Drain Cycle: Malaysia and Its Neighbours", has seven fine articles, six of which are specific to the country. In order to whet appetites, I [the author] have tried to condense the main takeaways of these six articles.
Immigration Stalls as Opportunities Wane on U.S.-Mexican Border
States in the southern and southwestern U.S. have passed immigration crackdowns, and the Supreme Court signaled last week it might be prepared to support an Arizona law requiring police to check the status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Yet rather than an invasion, Cox’s experience reflects an April 24 report by the Pew Hispanic Center, which concluded that the flow of migrants came to a “standstill” between 2005 and 2010, and may even have reversed.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Handbook for Diaspora Engagement Policies

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) published a terrific handbook for diaspora engagement policies today: "Developing a Road Map for Engaging Diasporas in Development: A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners in Home and Host Countries."

In particular, chapter 4 reviews 77 diaspora-engaging institutions in 56 countries. I can see an early draft of a dissertation proposal coming from it.

Resource Page

I've constructed a new section in this blog that aggregates links to important databases or methods tools/websites that have been helpful for my own research.

Current databases cover migration, remittances, inequality, democracy, and labor mobility. Methods websites include R related statistical packages or advice. Resources for LaTeX, Sweave, and JAGS will be expanded soon.

Essentially, the page serves only as an aggregator. I have no intention to promote certain websites over others, so the short blurbs that follow the links are usually excerpts taken from the actually website.

Feel free to let me know if I'm missing any helpful resource that you know of. I would love to add it to the list.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MPSA 2012

Dan McDowell and I will be presenting our paper Redback Rising: Bilateral Swap Arrangements and China’s Strategy for RMB Internationalization,” at MPSA this Saturday (April 14). The panel takes place at 4:35pm.

It's still an early draft, but we are quite excited about it. Feel free to drop by to say hi or offer comments if you are there, we would really appreciate it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Taiwanese Emigration, Immigration, and Circulatory Migration

Taiwanese Immigrants in the United States.
Almost one-quarter of Taiwanese immigrants lived in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA metro area in 2010.

Tradition and Progress: Taiwan's Evolving Migration Reality.
According to the Taiwan Ministry of the Interior (MOI), in 2007 there were 24,700 marriages between Taiwanese grooms and non-Taiwanese brides, representing 18.3 percent of all marriages and bringing the total number of foreign-born wives in Taiwan to 372,741. By the end of January 2010, the stock of foreign-born wives had increased to 401,685, with the majority from China (65.5 percent), Vietnam (20.5 percent), and Indonesia (6.5 percent).

Here, There, and Back Again: A New Zealand Case Study of Chinese Circulatory Transmigration.
Cultural anthropologists like Nina Glick Schiller and Linda Basch have pointed out that migrant networks, social relations, and cultural ties traverse both home and host societies. Their national boundaries "are brought together into a single social field." In the case of the new Chinese migrants, the origin-country governments' encouragement of long-distance nationalism is also a factor that should be recognized. In his study of Asians in Australia, demographer Graeme Hugo has noted, for example, "In Asia, Taiwan has had one of the most comprehensive reverse brain drain programs."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tips for Refereeing and Discussing Papers

How to referee an academic paper?
How to be a discussant on a seminar paper?

Individual Level H-1B Visa Data

H-1Bs: How Do They Stack Up to US Born Workers?
Combining unique individual level H-1B data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and data from the 2009 American Community Survey, we analyze earnings differences between H-1B visa holders and US born workers in STEM occupations. The data indicate that H-1Bs are younger and more skilled, as measured by education, than US born workers in the same occupations. We fail to find support for the notion that H-1Bs are paid less that observationally similar US born workers; in fact, they appear to have higher earnings in some key STEM occupations, including information technology.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recent Remittance and Migration Studies.

As a consequence of the global economic crisis, 2009 marked a hiccup in the trend of increasing remittance flows to developing countries. In most parts of the world, the growth rate of remittances was indeed negative. But what is striking is that there was an inverse relationship between remittances and unemployment. In other words, the greater the drop in remittances, the higher was the increase in the unemployment rate. In Moldova, for instance, remittances decreased by 36% in 2009, while the unemployment rate increased by 61%. By contrast, in Fiji, remittances increased by 24% and unemployment dropped by 7%.
Source: People Move

Impacts of Green Card Lottery on Ethiopian Households (HT: Development Impact).
Since migrants are typically positively selected (Chiswick, 1999Chiquiar and Hanson, 2005;McKenzie etal, 2006), non-experimental estimates of the effects of emigration may be biased if there are concerns with the identifying assumptions...

... In my job market paper, I add to the literature by focusing on migrants from an extremely poor country – Ethiopia – who are randomly assigned the possibility of migration through the United States’ Diversity Visa lottery. My analysis is based on a specially designed survey (which I conducted) of households of previous DV lottery winners and lottery participants in Addis Ababa – the Ethiopian capital.   I use comparisons between the lottery winners and the (non-winning) participants to infer the causal effects of having a family member migrate to the U.S....

...The study finds that having a family member win the lottery and migrate has significant positive effects on several dimensions of the remaining family’s standard of living. Families of DV migrants spend about 30% more on food, are thus better fed and have higher body mass indexes. Moreover, families of winners possess more and better quality consumer durables, which include personal computers, modern cooking stoves, household furniture and home entertainment appliances. Having a family member who won the DV lottery also gives families access to improved sources of drinking water and sanitation facilities. Winners’ families, however, have about the same savings and physical capital accumulation as other families. Most of the positive effects of emigration appear to be on the consumption side of the family budget.