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What determines the duration of stay of immigrants in Germany?: Evidence from a longitudinal duration analysis

  • Sebastian Gundel
  • Heiko Peters

Purpose – Because of the increasing importance of immigration for Germany due to the ageing population and the lack of highly skilled in some industries, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the return-migration of German immigrants. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses the German Socio-economic Panel to conduct an event-history analysis of return-migration. Findings – The analysis reveals that return migration is heavily influenced by country of origin. Individuals from countries with free labour movement agreements with Germany show a considerably higher likelihood of leaving Germany relative to the other countries. The main finding is, with respect to the self-selection process, that highly skilled are more likely to remigrate than those who are less skilled. In addition, the results give substantial information considering the design of German immigration policy. Originality/value – This paper conducts the first remigration analysis using the Cox proportional hazard model with years of residence as waiting time. Using the latest data, with respect to qualification, a positive self-selection of remigrants was found.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 11 (October)
Pages: 769-782

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:35:y:2008:i:11:p:769-782
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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. 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.
  3. Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
  6. Borjas, George J, 1989. "Immigrant and Emigrant Earnings: A Longitudinal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(1), pages 21-37, January.
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. DaVanzo, Julie, 1983. "Repeat Migration in the United States: Who Moves Back and Who Moves On?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(4), pages 552-59, November.
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