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Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration

Author

Listed:
  • Thierry Warin

    () (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Middlebury College & CIRANO)

  • Andrew Blakely

    () (Middlebury College)

Abstract

This paper examines how herd behavior (mimetism) and network effects determine bilateral migration flows to thirteen EU-15 countries. Using an adapted gravity model controlling for economic activity, welfare progressivity, as well as geospatial and historic relationships, the results force us to question our explanations for migration flows. Herd behavior positively influences European migration flows, whereas network complementarities in the receiving country do not consistently predict, and may in some cases reduce, the likelihood of immigrant inflows. Moreover, economic activity, particularly labor market conditions, plays a lesser role in the migrants’ choice of destination than was previously thought. The introduction of herd behavior as a determinant of European Migration in our empirical analysis hopefully will change the paradigm for understanding migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Warin & Andrew Blakely, 2012. "Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration," Global Economy Journal (GEJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 12(2), pages 1-32, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:gejxxx:v:12:y:2012:i:02:n:1524-5861.1818
    DOI: 10.1515/1524-5861.1818
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Bauer & Ira Gang & Gil Epstein, 2000. "What Are Migration Networks?," Departmental Working Papers 200016, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    2. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
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    4. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    5. Epstein, Gil S, 2002. "Informational Cascades and Decision to Migrate," CEPR Discussion Papers 3287, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Bruder, Jana, 2003. "East-West Migration in Europe, 2004 - 2015," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 40, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    7. Warin Thierry & Svaton Pavel, 2008. "European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-32, September.
    8. Thierry Warin & Jean-Philippe Bonardi, 2007. "Open Source Software Development, Innovation, and Coordination Costs," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0701, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    9. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    11. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2008. "Social networks in determining migration and labour market outcomes: evidence from the German reunification," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-36, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Warin & Robert E. Prasch, 2013. "Systemic Risk in the Financial Industry: “Mimetism” for the Best and for the Worst," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-29, CIRANO.
    2. André Rossi de Oliveira & Rossitza B. Wooster, 2015. "Economic Sector Choices of Mexican Migrants to the USA: Evidence from the 2011 EMIF Border Survey," Global Economy Journal (GEJ), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 25-50, March.
    3. Ludo Peeters, 2011. "Controlling For Heterogeneity And Asymmetry In Cross-Section Gravity Models Of Aggregate Migration: Evidence From Mexico," ERSA conference papers ersa10p329, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; mimetism; herd behavior; informational cascades; Europe; network effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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