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Return Decisions of Undocumented Migrants: Do Network Effects Help the High‐skilled Overstay?


  • Nicola D. Coniglio
  • Giuseppe De Arcangelis
  • Laura Serlenga


This paper analyses the return plans of irregular migrants by stressing the role of individual skills and network effects. We propose a simple two-period life‐cycle model that we test using individual‐level data on irregular migrants in Italy and on undocumented Mexicans in the USA. Our evidence shows that highly skilled clandestine migrants are more likely to return home than migrants with low or no skills. We argue this result is due to constraints imposed by the irregular status on migrants' ability to fully use human capital in the destination country. However, the presence of strong social networks may lessen this effect.

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  • Nicola D. Coniglio & Giuseppe De Arcangelis & Laura Serlenga, 2010. "Return Decisions of Undocumented Migrants: Do Network Effects Help the High‐skilled Overstay?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 24(s1), pages 93-113, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:24:y:2010:i:s1:p:93-113

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael A. Quinn, 2014. "Crossing The Border And Migration Duration," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 843-861, October.

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