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Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Michel BEINE

    (University of Luxembourg and CES-Ifo)

  • Frédéric DOCQUIER

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

  • Caglar,OZDEN

    (World Bank, Development Research Group)

Abstract

Migrant networks play an important role in explaining the size and structure of migration flows. They affect the private costs and benefits of migration (assimilation channel) and lower legal entry barriers through family reunification programs (policy channel). This paper presents a micro-founded identification strategy allowing to disentangle the relative importance of these two channels. Our empirical analysis exploits US immigration data by metropolitan area and country of origin. We first find that the elasticity of migration flows to network size is around one. More interestingly, we show that the policy channel accounted at most for a quarter of this elasticity in the 1990s, and the magnitudes of the total network effect and the policy channel are greater for low-skilled migrants. Our results are strongly robust to sample selection, identification assumptions, and treatment for unobserved bilateral heterogeneity. Furthermore, the policy channel was stronger in the 1990s than in the 1980s, possibly reflecting the changes in the US family reunification policies. We conclude that the government capacity to curb the migration multiplier exists, but is limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel BEINE & Frédéric DOCQUIER & Caglar,OZDEN, 2015. "Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 379-408, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:81:y:2015:i:4:p:379-408
    DOI: 10.1017/dem.2015.13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    2. Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Co-national and cross-national pulls in international migration to Spain," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 51-61.
    3. Nina Neubecker & Marcel Smolka & Anne Steinbacher, 2017. "Networks And Selection In International Migration To Spain," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(3), pages 1265-1286, July.
    4. Romano Piras, 2020. "Internal Migration in Italy: The Role of Migration Networks," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 157-195, March.
    5. Driouchi, Ahmed, 2014. "Evidence and Prospects of Shortage and Mobility of Medical Doctors: A Literature Survey," MPRA Paper 59322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Strong versus weak ties in migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 111-137.
    7. Simone Bertoli & Ilse Ruyssen, 2018. "Networks and migrants’ intended destination," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 705-728.
    8. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 119-177, Elsevier.
    9. Marco Delogu & Frédéric Docquier & Joël Machado, 2018. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 223-258, June.
    10. Éric Rougier & Nicolas Yol, 2019. "The volatility effect of diaspora's location," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(6), pages 1796-1827, June.
    11. Michel Beine & Joël Machado & Ilse Ruyssen, 2019. "Do potential migrants internalise migrant rights in OECD host societies?," CREA Discussion Paper Series 19-07, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    12. Michel Beine, 2016. "The role of networks for migration flows: an update," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1154-1171, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Network/diasporas externalities; Immigration policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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