Immigrant location and network effects: the Helvetic case
– The purpose of this paper is try to answer the following question: to which extent the observed location pattern is driven by network effects or by traditional location factors, like the structure and behaviour of the local labour market, housing market, public goods, and local tax rates? – The paper uses an econometric model derived from random utility maximization. This model is estimated on a panel of Helvetic labor market areas, using a two stages estimation method. The first stage allows the network effect to be estimated. In the second stage, it estimates the impact of standard location factors. – The paper finds evidence of a very strong network effect. This network effect is a very important location factor and implies that a location may attract current immigrants mainly because it attracted previous immigrants, even if the traditional location factors are not a source of attractiveness. – The present study corroborates earlier work on the Italian case. There is still some work to be done for taking account of the highly localized nature of network externalities. – The impact of network on migrants' behavior is a hotly debated issue. However, there is almost no analysis of this impact on migrants' location. Conversely, if the high level of concentration of immigrants is a well known stylized fact, there is almost no study of the factors explaining this concentration. The research starts filling these two gaps.
Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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