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Bogus Refugees? The Determinants of Asylum Migration to Western Europe

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  • Eric Neumayer

    (LSE)

Abstract

This article analyses the determinants of asylum migration to Western Europe. Potential asylum seekers balance the costs of staying versus the costs of migrating. Estimation results confirm that economic hardship and economic discrimination against ethnic minorities leads to higher flows of asylum seekers. However, political oppression, human rights abuse, violent conflict and state failure are also important determinants, casting doubt on the mis-conception of all asylum seekers as ‘bogus’ refugees. Migration networks and geographical proximity are important facilitators of asylum flows as predicted by theory. Colonial experience, religious similarity and casual contact with the developed world (aid, trade and tourism) are not. Natural disasters and famines are also not statistically significant determinants. These events are typically short-term and unexpected, whereas asylum migration to Western Europe requires preparatory planning.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0311002.

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Date of creation: 10 Nov 2003
Date of revision: 18 Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0311002

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  1. Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "International Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 3450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Dollar, David, 2000. " Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 33-63, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Hatton, Timothy J., 2008. "The Rise and Fall of Asylum: What Happened and Why?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Timothy J. Hatton, 2005. "European Asylum Policy," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 194(1), pages 106-119, October.
  3. Azam, Jean-Paul & Berlinschi, Ruxanda, 2008. "The Aid-Migration of Trade-Off," IDEI Working Papers 538, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.

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