Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Sylwester, Kevin


The first essay is The linkage between foreign direct investment and international migration. Immigration policy and policies regarding the flow of capital across borders are generally enacted separately. Such separation may not be appropriate if there are interactions between immigration and foreign direct investment (FDI). Although much research has focused on the determinants of international migration, little agreement has been made with respect to how FDI affects migration. In this paper, we attempt to clarify the influence of FDI on migration. We consider not only how aggregate FDI into country i affects migration from i to j but also how the FDI that i receives specifically from country j (which we denote as bilateral FDI) affects migration from i to j. We find that bilateral FDI stock has a positive and significant impact on the size of migrant stock through what we call an ``ideological linkage". We show that this finding is robust across different estimation methods, including instrumental variables Tobit and Heckman selection models. We conclude that the influence of FDI on migration needs to be considered when designing economic policies. The second essay is Environmental quality and international migration. This essay examines the extent of which pollution is a factor that pushes people to migrate across borders. It provides an empirical analysis of the aspects of air quality and its unexplored role in the international migration. We allow pollution to affect migrants differently according to their gender and educational attainment. We also consider different types of air pollution such as sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. We then test for the interaction between environmental quality and income upon migration. We find that air pollution is a push factor but not necessarily for countries with very high incomes. We also find evidence supporting that there is a gender difference in the migration-environment association. Finally, the third essay is The effects of foreign universities on domestic human capital accumulation. In this essay, we focus on the impact of foreign direct investment in education (i.e., foreign universities opening up branches overseas) on human capital formation in the host countries. High ranking universities have the privilege to enter foreign market and usually enjoy subsidy from the host country. However, the entry of low quality foreign universities may have positive impact on domestic human capital accumulation with less uncertainty. In our model, we have three types of universities: high quality foreign universities located domestically, low quality foreign universities located domestically and domestic universities. Agents in the model represent students in the host country who decide upon their level of preparedness for a university education. As comparative statics exercises, we examine how effort changes when the slots of high quality or low quality foreign institutions change. Results from these comparative statics exercises could help a government choose the optimal size of high quality or low quality foreign universities where optimal means maximizing aggregate effort. We also examine the effect of foreign education premium on human capital accumulation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first economics-based, theoretical study of this issue. We conclude that the entry of low quality foreign universities generally increases domestic human capital accumulation whereas allowing more high quality universities to enter the country produces less straightforward results. We also find that lowering the wage gap could have beneficial effects on human capital accumulation.




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