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The Economic Drivers of Human Trafficking: Micro-Evidence from Five Eastern European Countries

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  • Omar Mahmoud, Toman
  • Trebesch, Christoph

Abstract

Human trafficking is a humanitarian problem of global scale, but quantitative research on the issue barely exists. This paper is a first attempt to explore the economic drivers of human trafficking and migrant exploitation using micro data. We argue that migration pressure combined with informal migration patterns and incomplete information are the key determinants of human trafficking. To test our argument, we use a unique new dataset of 5513 households from Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. The main result is in line with our expectations: Migrant families in high-migration areas and with larger migrant networks are much more likely to have a trafficked victim among their members. Our results also indicate that illegal migration increases trafficking risks and that awareness campaigns and a reduction of information asymmetries might be an effective strategy to reduce the crime. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 with number 38.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec09:38

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Keywords: Human Trafficking; Migrant Exploitation; Illegal Migration; Migration Networks; Eastern Europe;

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Cited by:
  1. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Modeling for Determinants of Human Trafficking," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 70, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Human Trafficking, a Shadow of Migration: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1246, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Seo-Young Cho, 2012. "Integrating Equality: Globalization, Women's Rights, and Human Trafficking," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 69, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Seo-Young Cho, 2011. "Integrating Equality - Globalization, Women’s Rights, Son Preference and Human Trafficking," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 73, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  5. Peerapeng, Suk-Rutai & Chaitip, Prasert & Chaiboonsri, Chukiat & Kovacs, Sandor & Balogh, Peter, 2012. "Impact Of Economic Globalization On The Human Trafficking In The Greater Mekong Sub-Region Countries," APSTRACT: Applied Studies in Agribusiness and Commerce, AGRIMBA, vol. 6(5).
  6. Hernandez, Diego & Rudolph, Alexandra, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 83, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  7. Akee, Randall K. Q. & Bedi, Arjun S. & Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy, 2011. "Transnational Trafficking, Law Enforcement and Victim Protection: A Middleman Trafficker's Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6226, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Seo-Young Cho & Axel Dreher & Eric Neumayer, 2011. "Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 96, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 16 Jan 2012.
  9. Diego Hernandez & Alexandra Rudolph, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 97, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 23 Nov 2011.

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