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

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Author Info

  • Wahba, Jackline

    ()
    (University of Southampton)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()
    (Stockholm University)

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. Our results also suggest that social networks have no significant impact on becoming entrepreneurs for returnees but matter for non-migrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4541.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2012, 42 (5), 890–903
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4541

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; social capital; savings; selection;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Simeon Djankov & Yingyi Qian & Gerard Roland & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2005. "Who Are China’s Entrepreneurs?," Working Papers w0047, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  3. 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.
  4. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, December.
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  7. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
  8. Matt Jackson, 2003. "The Effects of Social Networks on Employment and Inequality," Theory workshop papers 658612000000000032, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2001. "Job Matching, Social Network and Word-of-Mouth Communication," CEPR Discussion Papers 2797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. 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.
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  16. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
  17. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  20. Ilahi, Nadeem, 1999. "Return Migration and Occupational Change," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 170-86, June.
  21. Chiara Monfardini & Rosalba Radice, 2008. "Testing Exogeneity in the Bivariate Probit Model: A Monte Carlo Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 271-282, 04.
  22. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  23. 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.
  24. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Sylvie Démurger & Hui Xu, 2011. "Return migrants : The rise of new entrepreneurs in rural China," Post-Print halshs-00627732, HAL.
  3. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2014. "Strong versus Weak Ties in Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 8089, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Docquier, Frédéric & Rapoport, Hillel, 2011. "Globalization, Brain Drain and Development," IZA Discussion Papers 5590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.

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