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How do Migrants Choose Their Destination Country? An Analysis of Institutional Determinants

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  • Wido Geis
  • Silke Uebelmesser
  • Martin Werding

Abstract

For a long time, migration has been subject to intensive economic research. Nevertheless, empirical evidence regarding the determinants of migration still appears to be incomplete. In this paper, we analyze the effects of socio-economic and institutional determinants, especially labor-market institutions, on migrants' choices. Based on a large data set constructed from micro-data for France, Germany, the UK and the US, we study their decisions to migrate to one of the four countries using a Multinomial Choice framework. Our estimates confirm a number of conventional results such as positive effects of wages and immigrant networks and negative effects of unemployment rates. In addition, we find that employment protection, union coverage and unemployment benefits have positive effects on migration. Also good education and health systems tend to attract migrants, while generous pension systems may deter them. Based on separate estimations for high- and low-skilled migrants, there is evidence that the effects of labor-market institutions differ across skill groups.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 21 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 825-840

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:21:y:2013:i:5:p:825-840

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  1. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
  2. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Poutvaara, Panu & Profeta, Paola, 2005. "Why Are More Redistributive Social Security Systems Smaller? A Median Voter Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
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  6. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Selection or Network Effects? Migration Flows into 27 OECD Countries, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Leamer, Edward E, 1985. "Sensitivity Analyses Would Help," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 308-13, June.
  8. Bauer, Thomas & Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2002. "Enclaves, Language and the Location Choice of Migrants," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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  11. Aslund, Olof, 2005. "Now and forever? Initial and subsequent location choices of immigrants," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 141-165, March.
  12. Constant, Amelie F. & D'Agosto, Elena, 2008. "Where Do the Brainy Italians Go?," IZA Discussion Papers 3325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
  14. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," CEDI Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University 06-13, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  15. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
  16. Wido Geis & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2008. "Why go to France or Germany, if you could as well go to the UK or the US? Selective Features of Immigration to four major OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2427, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. George J. Borjas, 1998. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," NBER Working Papers 6813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How Do Migrants Choose Their Destination Country? An Analysis of Institutional Determinants
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-10-24 10:55:00
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Cited by:
  1. Klaus Nowotny, 2011. "Welfare Magnets, Taxation and the Location Decisions of Migrants to the EU," ERSA conference papers ersa11p133, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Nowotny, Klaus & Pennerstorfer, Dieter, 2012. "Ethnic Networks and the Location Choice of Migrants in Europe," Working Papers in Economics and Finance, University of Salzburg 2012-7, University of Salzburg.
  3. Mario Morger, 2013. "What Do Immigrants Value Most About Switzerland? Evidence of the Relative Importance of Income Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 4134, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Electra Petracou & Anastasios Xepapadeas & Athanasios Yannacopoulos, . "The bioeconomics of migration: A selective review towards a modelling perspective," DEOS Working Papers 1306, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  5. Werding, Martin & McLennan, Stuart, 2011. "International portability of health-cost coverage : concepts and experience," Social Protection Discussion Papers 63929, The World Bank.
  6. Assaf Razin & Jackline Wahba, 2012. "Migration Policy and the Generosity of the Welfare State in Europe," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(4), pages 28-31, 02.
  7. Martin Werding & Stuart McLennan, 2012. "International Portability of Health-Cost Cover: Mobility, Insurance, and Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3952, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Peter Huber & Klaus Nowotny & Julia Bock-Schappelwein, 2010. "Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU," FIW Research Reports series, FIW II-008, FIW.
  9. Wido Geis & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2008. "Why go to France or Germany, if you could as well go to the UK or the US? Selective Features of Immigration to four major OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 2427, CESifo Group Munich.

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