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Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration

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  • Warin Thierry

    ()
    (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Middlebury College & CIRANO)

  • Blakely Andrew

    ()
    (Middlebury College)

Abstract

This paper examines how herd behavior (mimetism) and network effects determine bilateral migration flows to thirteen EU-15 countries. Using an adapted gravity model controlling for economic activity, welfare progressivity, as well as geospatial and historic relationships, the results force us to question our explanations for migration flows. Herd behavior positively influences European migration flows, whereas network complementarities in the receiving country do not consistently predict, and may in some cases reduce, the likelihood of immigrant inflows. Moreover, economic activity, particularly labor market conditions, plays a lesser role in the migrants’ choice of destination than was previously thought. The introduction of herd behavior as a determinant of European Migration in our empirical analysis hopefully will change the paradigm for understanding migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Global Economy Journal.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 1-32

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:12:y:2012:i:2:n:8

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  1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2000. "What are Migration Networks?," IZA Discussion Papers 200, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2008-36 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Bruder, Jana, 2003. "East-West Migration in Europe, 2004 - 2015," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 40, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  5. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
  6. Thierry Warin & Jean-Philippe Bonardi, 2007. "Open Source Software Development, Innovation, and Coordination Costs," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0701, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  7. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2008. "Social Networks in Determining Migration and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the German Reunification," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0811, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  8. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1991. "Immigrant participation in the welfare system," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(2), pages 195-211, January.
  9. Epstein, Gil S, 2002. "Informational Cascades and Decision to Migrate," CEPR Discussion Papers 3287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Thierry Warin & Robert E. Prasch, 2013. "Systemic Risk in the Financial Industry: “Mimetism” for the Best and for the Worst," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-29, CIRANO.
  2. Ludo Peeters, 2011. "Controlling For Heterogeneity And Asymmetry In Cross-Section Gravity Models Of Aggregate Migration: Evidence From Mexico," ERSA conference papers ersa10p329, European Regional Science Association.

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