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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
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/dem.2015.13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jecgro:v:23:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10887-017-9153-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    3. Eric Rougier & Nicolas Yol, 2018. "The volatility effect of diaspora’s location: A migration portfolio approach," Cahiers du GREThA 2018-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    4. Simone Bertoli & Ilse Ruyssen, 2018. "Networks and migrants’ intended destination," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 705-728.
    5. Michel Beine, 2015. "The role of networks for migration flows - an update," CREA Discussion Paper Series 15-14, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    6. Driouchi, Ahmed, 2014. "Evidence and Prospects of Shortage and Mobility of Medical Doctors: A Literature Survey," MPRA Paper 59322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Giulietti, Corrado & Wahba, Jackline & Zenou, Yves, 2018. "Strong versus weak ties in migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 111-137.
    8. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1265-1286 is not listed on IDEAS

    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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