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Migration, Relationship Capital and International Travel: Theory and Evidence

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  • Philip McCann

    ()
    (University of Waikato and University of Reading)

  • Jacques Poot

    ()
    (Population Studies Centre, University of Waikato)

  • Lynda Sanderson

    ()
    (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)

Abstract

In this paper we consider how international migration is related to the frequency and duration of trips to the home country. For many migrants, international migration triggers a series of trips to visit the home country that allow for a replenishment of the depleted relationship capital with family and friends back home, but these trips incur travel costs and foregone earnings. Given plausible assumptions about the depreciation and replenishment of home country relationship capital, a steady-state level of average maintained relationship capital implies that the optimized travel frequency is inversely related to the distance and the transportation costs, and positively related to the psychological costs of separation. The total time spent at home is increasing in the trip frequency, but with an elasticity that is decreasing in cultural proximity. Empirical evidence in support of these theoretical predictions is found in a unique longitudinal sample of international travel of 13,674 New Zealand citizens and 6,882 UK citizens who migrated to Australia between 1 August 1999 and 31 July 2000.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London in its series CReAM Discussion Paper Series with number 0808.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0808

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Keywords: International Migration; Trip Frequency; Relationship Capital;

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  1. Edward Glaeser & Janet Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, regions and the decline of transport costs," Economics of Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 197-228, October.
  2. Francois-Charles Wolff & Augustin de Coulon, 2005. "Immigrants at Retirement: Stay/Return or 'Va-et-Vient'," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp0691, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Philip McCann & Charles Ward, 2004. "Real Estate Rental Payments: Application of Stock-Inventory Modeling," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(2_3), pages 273-292, 03.
  4. Constant, Amelie & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2007. "Circular Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6438, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. McCann, Philip, 2001. "A proof of the relationship between optimal vehicle size, haulage length and the structure of distance-transport costs," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 671-693, September.
  6. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
  7. Oded Shenkar, 2001. "Cultural Distance Revisited: Towards a More Rigorous Conceptualization and Measurement of Cultural Differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(3), pages 519-535, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jacques Poot & Anna Strutt, 2010. "International Trade Agreements and International Migration," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(12), pages 1923-1954, December.
  2. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Masood Gheasi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2013. "Special issue on international migration: editorial introduction," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-5, August.
  4. Anna Klabunde, 2014. "Computational Economic Modeling of Migration," Ruhr Economic Papers, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen 0471, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  5. Constant, Amelie F. & Nottmeyer, Olga & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2012. "The Economics of Circular Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 6940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Arthur Grimes & les Oxley & Nicholas Tarrant, 2012. "Does Money Buy Me Love? Testing Alternative Measures of National Wellbeing," Working Papers, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research 12_09, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

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