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Labor market outcomes, savings accumulation, and return migration

  • KIrdar, Murat G.

In this paper, I examine the determinants of return migration from Germany for immigrants from four different source countries, and test the savings accumulation conjecture that is used to rationalize return migration decisions using both cross-country and time variation in purchasing power parity. The empirical results confirm the savings accumulation conjecture. Therefore, return migration can be seen as part of optimal life-cycle location choices in this context. I also examine how labor market outcomes influence return decisions. A key finding here is that unlike previous studies, which find a positive impact of unemployment on return migration, I find that the direction of the impact of unemployment changes by the spell length.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 418-428

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:4:p:418-428
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Amelie Constant & Douglas S. Massey, 2003. "Self-selection, earnings, and out-migration: A longitudinal study of immigrants to Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 631-653, November.
  2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1997. "Social security and retirement in germany," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 97-20, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The optimal migration duration and activity choice after re-migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-372, April.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
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  7. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  8. Abdurrahman Aydemir & Chris Robinson, 2008. "Global labour markets, return, and onward migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1285-1311, November.
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  12. Stark, Oded & Helmenstein, Christian & Yegorov, Yuri, 1997. "Migrants' Savings, Purchasing Power Parity, and the Optimal Duration of Migration," Economics Series 44, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  13. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-76, February.
  14. Kumcu, M. Ercan, 1989. "The savings behavior of migrant workers : Turkish workers in W. Germany," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 273-286, April.
  15. Dustmann, Christian, 2003. "Return migration, wage differentials, and the optimal migration duration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 353-369, April.
  16. Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 715-735, November.
  17. Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence From Philippine Migrants%u2019 Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
  19. Patricia Reagan & Randall Olsen, 2000. "You can go home again: Evidence from longitudinal data," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 339-350, August.
  20. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  21. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  22. Bellemare, C., 2003. "Economic Assimilation and Outmigration of Immigrants in West-Germany," Discussion Paper 2003-65, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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