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Social networks in determining migration and labour market outcomes: evidence from the German reunification

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  • Rainer, Helmut
  • Siedler, Thomas

Abstract

This paper empirically examines social network explanations for migration decisions in the context of the German reunification. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio- Economic Panel, we first show that the presence of family and friends in West Germany is an important predictor for the migration hazard rate of East Germans. We then explore whether pre-migration networks have a discernible impact on the economic and social assimilation of East German immigrants in West Germany. We find that East German immigrants are more likely to be employed, and to hold higher-paying jobs, when socially connected to the West prior to emigrating. East Germans immigrants with pre-migration networks also appear to be more integrated into their Western host communities than movers without preexisting social ties.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2008-36.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2008
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-36

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Web: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/

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  1. Hunt, Jennifer, 1999. "Post-Unification Wage Growth in East Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 2106, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  3. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  4. Jennifer Hunt, 2006. "Staunching Emigration from East Germany: Age and the Determinants of Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 4(5), pages 1014-1037, 09.
  5. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1999. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," Working Papers 9903, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  6. Jörg Decressin, 1994. "Internal migration in West Germany and implications for East-West salary convergence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 231-257, June.
  7. Hunt, Jennifer, 1998. "The Transition in East Germany: When is a Ten Point Fall in the Gender Wage Gap Bad News?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1805, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2009. "Unemployment Insurance in Europe: Unemployment Duration and Subsequent Employment Stability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1225-1260, December.
  9. Burda, Michael C, 1993. "The Determinants of East-West German Migration: Some First Results," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Stephen P. Jenkins & Carlos GarcÃŒa-Serrano, 2004. "The Relationship between Unemployment Benefits and Re-employment Probabilities: Evidence from Spain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(2), pages 239-260, 05.
  11. Michael C. Burda & Jennifer Hunt, 2001. "From Reunification to Economic Integration: Productivity and the Labor Market in Eastern Germany," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 1-92.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:wop:humbsf:1998-3 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Ham, John C & LaLonde, Robert J, 1996. "The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 175-205, January.
  15. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers, UCLA Department of Economics 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Michael C. Burda & Wolfgang Härdle & Marlene Müller & Axel Werwatz, 1998. "Semiparametric analysis of German East-West migration intentions: facts and theory," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 525-541.
  17. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 3788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Thierry Warin & Andrew Blakely, 2009. "Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration," CIRANO Working Papers, CIRANO 2009s-38, CIRANO.
  2. Mitze, Timo & Reinkowski, Janina, 2010. "Testing the Validity of the Neoclassical Migration Model: Overall and Age-Group Specific Estimation Results for German Spatial Planning Regions," MPRA Paper 23616, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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