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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Migration, Entrepreneurship and Social Capital

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Author Info

  • Jackline Wahba

    ()
    (University of Southampton)

  • Yves Zenou

    ()
    (Stockholm University, Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate whether return migrants are more likely to become entrepreneurs than non-migrants. We develop a theoretical search model that puts forward the trade off faced by returnees since overseas migration provides an opportunity for human and physical capital accumulation but, at the same time, may lead to a loss of social capital back home. We test the predictions of the model using data from Egypt. We find that, even after controlling for the endogeneity of the temporary migration decision, an overseas returnee is more likely to become an entrepreneur than a non-migrant. Although migrants lose their original social networks whilst overseas, savings and human capital accumulation acquired abroad over-compensate for this loss.

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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 0930.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0930

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Keywords: Social capital; entrepreneurship; selection; savings;

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References

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  1. Alice Mesnard & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "The Wealth Effect on New Business Startups in a Developing Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 367-392, 08.
  2. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Job Matching, Social Network and Word-of-Mouth Communication," IZA Discussion Papers 771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Density, Social Networks and Job Search Methods: Theory and Application to Egypt," CEPR Discussion Papers 3967, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. William H. Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Further Results," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 291-300, January.
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  9. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Ilahi, Nadeem, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-86, June.
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  13. Simeon Djankov & Yingyi Qian & Gérard Roland & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2006. "Who Are China's Entrepreneurs?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 348-352, May.
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  15. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, June.
  16. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2007. "Self-selection patterns in Mexico-U.S. migration: The role of migration networks," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0701, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  17. McCormick, Barry & Wahba, Jackline, 2001. "Overseas Work Experience, Savings and Entrepreneurship amongst Return Migrants to LDCs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(2), pages 164-78, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Frédéric DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2011. "Globalization, brain drain and development," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Capuano, Stella & Marfouk, Abdeslam, 2013. "African brain drain and its impact on source countries: What do we know and what do we need to know?," MPRA Paper 47944, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Sylvie Démurger & Hui Xu, 2010. "Return migrants: The rise of new entrepreneurs in rural China," Working Papers 1008, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  4. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 8089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mezger Kveder, Cora Leonie & Flahaux, Marie-Laurence, 2013. "Returning to Dakar: A Mixed Methods Analysis of the Role of Migration Experience for Occupational Status," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 223-238.
  6. Picard, Pierre M. & Worrall, Tim, 2014. "Is a Policy of Free Movement of Workers Sustainable?," IZA Discussion Papers 8035, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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