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What Do Networks Do? The Role of Networks on Migration and "Coyote" Use

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  • Sarah Dolfin
  • Garance Genicot

Abstract

While a large literature has established that migration experience among an individual's family and community networks tends to encourage migration, there is little research investigating the mechanism by which networks exert such effects. This paper aims to determine the relative importance of three potential benefits provided by networks: information on border crossing, information on jobs, and credit. We develop empirical tests of these effects based on a simple model that allows individuals to choose between migrating alone or with the help of a border smuggler. Using a dataset of undocumented Mexican migrants to the United States, we find that larger family networks encourage both migration and coyote use, consistent with the job information hypothesis. In contrast, community networks appear to provide crossing information. The finding that family networks have a smaller impact for asset holders indicates that some of the benefit the family network provides is a source of credit. Copyright � 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 343-359

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:14:y:2010:i:2:p:343-359

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Cited by:
  1. Stark, Oded & Jakubek, Marcin, 2013. "Migration networks as a response to financial constraints: Onset, and endogenous dynamics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 1-7.
  2. Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel & Steinbacher, Anne, 2012. "Networks and selection in international migration to Spain," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 35, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  3. David Mckenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2004. "Network Effects and the Dynamics of Migration and Inequality: Theory and Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 2004-3, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  4. Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel, 2012. "Co-national and transnational networks in international migration to Spain," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 46, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Margherita Comola & Mariapia Mendola, 2013. "The Formation of Migrant Networks," Development Working Papers 353, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  6. Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Co-national and cross-national pulls in international migration to Spain," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 51-61.
  7. Calero, Carla & Bedi, Arjun S. & Sparrow, Robert, 2008. "Remittances, Liquidity Constraints and Human Capital Investments in Ecuador," IZA Discussion Papers 3358, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran & Viarengo, Martina, 2013. "The Making of Modern America: Migratory Flows in the Age of Mass Migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 23-47.
  9. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration : the role of migration networks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4118, The World Bank.
  10. Jean-Louis Arcand & Linguère Mously MBAYE, 2013. "Braving the waves: the role of time and risk preferences in illegal migration from Senegal," Working Papers halshs-00855937, HAL.
  11. Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2013. ""Barcelona or Die": Understanding Illegal Migration from Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7728, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Ying Pan, . "Born with The Right Surname: Lineage Networks and Political and Economic Opportunities in Rural China," Departmental Working Papers 2011-15, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  13. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Mbaye, Linguère Mously, 2013. "Braving the Waves: The Role of Time and Risk Preferences in Illegal Migration from Senegal," IZA Discussion Papers 7517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 8089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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