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Return Migration: an Empirical Investigation

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  • Zakharenko, Roman

Abstract

Many people emigrating abroad eventually return home. Yet, little is known about the returnees: who are they and how do they compare to those who did not return? How does their decision to return depend on economic situation at home? In this paper, I empirically analyze the propensity of US immigrants to return. To identify return migration, I use the method adopted from Van Hook et.al. (2006). The method is based the U.S. Current Population Survey (CPS) which interviews households for two consecutive years. About a quarter of foreign-born individuals drop out of the sample between the first and the second years, due to various causes including return migration. After eliminating all other causes of dropout, I estimate the propensity of immigrants to return, depending on personal and home country characteristics. I find that the difference between recent immigrants and other immigrants is greater than the difference between men and women, or skilled and unskilled migrants. Thus, assimilation differentiates immigrants more in their decision to return than education or gender. In particular, distance to home country negatively affects return propensity of those who arrived over 10 years ago, and has no effect on recent immigrants.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13755.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision: Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13755

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Keywords: return migration; panel attrition; assimilation;

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References

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  1. Charles Bellemare, 2004. "A Life-Cycle Model of Outmigration and Economic Assimilation of Immigrants in Germany," Cahiers de recherche, CIRPEE 0430, CIRPEE.
  2. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  3. Commander, Simon & Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan, 2003. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon?," IZA Discussion Papers 809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dean Yang, 2004. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants’ Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," Working Papers, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan 513, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Gemma Larramona, 2011. "Determinants of return migration in Spain in its new role as a receiving country," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1082, European Regional Science Association.

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