13 July 2020 - Online Seminar Series

Webinar: The Economics of Migration ( Junior Seminar)

Date & Time (CET):  July 13th

4 pm - 4.45 pm: Pedro Tremacoldi Rossi (University of Illinois)
4.45 pm - 5.30 pm: Min Fang (University of Rochester)

Register here for both (Zoom)

Presentation 1: Pedro Tremacoldi Rossi (University of Illinois)

Topic: International student migration and local housing markets
Tatiana Mocanu and Pedro Tremacoldi Rossi


We study the impact of the 2005-2015 international student boom on local housing markets. By constructing a sample of American college towns characterizing rarely studied local markets, we show that international students exogenously sustained demand for rentals and residential investment even during the housing bust. Using an instrument based on the historical distribution of foreign students across college towns, we find that international students increased rents by 1% and home prices by 1.6% relative to the housing boom peak. An analysis exploiting within-city dynamics reveals that neighborhoods near campus absorbed international inflows by replacing single-family homes with apartment rentals.

Read this paper

Presentation 2: Obeid Ur Rehman (University of Michigan)

Topic: Migration, Housing Constraints, and Inequality: A Quantitative Analysis of China
Min Fang and Zibin Huang


This paper investigates the role of migration and housing constraints in determining income inequality within and across Chinese cities. Combining microdata and a spatial equilibrium model, we quantify the impact of the massive spatial reallocation of workers and the rapid growth of housing costs on the nationwide income distribution. We first show several stylized facts of the strong positive correlation between migration inflow, housing cost, and imputed income inequality among Chinese cities. We then build a spatial equilibrium model featuring workers with heterogeneous skills, housing constraints, and heterogeneous returns from housing ownership to explain these facts and quantify potential gain from policy reforms. Our quantitative results indicate that the persistent reduction in migration cost, the disproportionate increment in productivity across cities and skills, and the tighter housing constraints in larger cities are the causes of the observed massive migration flow, the rapid growth of housing costs, and the enlarged within/across-city income inequality. Therefore, counterfactuals with land supply increment redistributed by migrant flow could lower the within-city income inequality by 15% and national income inequality by 18%, both measured by Theil Index, while at the same time encourage more migration to high productive cities.


About the seminar series:
This is a joint initiative of LISER's Crossing Borders research programme, CERDI, PSE,the University of Luxembourg and Universidad Carlos III. Its objective is to propose an opportunity to migration scholars for exchanging under the current exceptional circumstances.
Senior Seminars are weekly, and held on Wednesdays from 17:30 to 18.30 CET.
Junior Seminars are bi-weekly, and held on Mondays from 16h to 17h30 CET
To learn more and view all Seminars click here