Migration Paper

Published on
Economics 274 Winter 2017

– Migration Paper –

— due Monday 13 March —

This assignment is for a medium-length paper (5-8 pages) that focuses on migration and related issues, drawing upon at least 2 papers in the empirical economics literature.

First and foremost you need to develop a clear theme. We have laid forth the macroeconomic background to migration in class, with the 2-sector Lewis model. We will develop a simple “T” model of migration that will help highlight the underlying analytic structure used by most of the migration papers. We will review how to read the output of formal statistical (econometric) analysis in class.

The paper should be structured with an introductory paragraph that clearly states your theme. It should also state the resources that you use, using an inline reference format – no footnotes or endnotes, no paper titles in the body of the paper.

You should then have a paragraph providing an overview of the issues. What are they and why do they matter? How can you approach them analytically? What data are available? You do not need to discuss (and probably should not discuss!) all of them in the body of the paper, but it’s appropriate to mention them up front, in the paragraph following your topic paragraph. If you scanned 5 papers, you may (or may not) reference them here, even if you do not use them elsewhere.

The core of the paper should be the two papers upon which you focus. Key things to note are (i) how do they differ in the data they use? Remember that with 10% pa growth, what was true in 2005 likely may no longer be true come 2012 – incomes would have doubled, cities grown, farms cut surplus laborers, and so on. Likewise migration within Guangdong Province (where Dongguan, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are located) might be quite different from the inland Anhui. Minorities may be different from “Han” Chinese, women from men, educated from semi-literate, those from big families different from those with small.

You of course should also provide an overview of the findings of each paper. What did they claim they were going to do, and what in the end were they able to conclude? (Of course you may not find their arguments compelling!) What limitations do they themselves note?

If the papers closely overlap or complement each other, you may be able to jointly discuss them. However, feel free to treat them seriatim.

Come your conclusion, then, you need to reflect carefully about how robust the results of the papers you read are likely to be. What do we learn from the two combined? What appear to be the most important questions that need further work? You may also find the conclusion an appropriate place to reference Hessler’s village study. Your conclusion may then end up 2 paragraphs long (or even 3).

As always, you should edit your first draft to make it more concise, removing passive voice, deleting indefinite modifiers (“some” “a lot”), checking for duplicate verbs (look for where you use “and”), and correcting typos (for example “led” not “lead”). Write forcefully!

Paper resources: I expect you to use

  1. Part II of Hessler on Sancha and
  2. (ii) at least 2 paper from the extensive migration bibliography on the course web site.
  3. You may use other sources, though your main recourse should be to the formal, academic literature. I have not explicitly searched the public health literature; ditto for sociology. While some papers show up in the standard economics bibliographic databases (EconPapers, EconLit – links on the class web site) there are many more. You may want to search other sources, particularly if you are pre-med.

Make Your Communications Center Appointments Now!