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Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration

Author

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  • Michel Beine
  • Frédéric Docquier
  • Caglar Özden

Abstract

Existing migrant networks play an important role in explaining the size and structure of immigration flows. They affect the net benefits of migration for future migrants by lowering assimilation costs (‘self-selection’ channel) and increase the probability of potential migrants to obtain a visa through family reunification programs (‘immigration policy’ channel). This paper presents an identification strategy allowing to disentangle these two channels. Then, it provides an empirical illustration based on US immigration data by metropolitan area and country of origin. First, we show that the overall network externality is strong: the elasticity of migration flows to network size is around one. Second, only a quarter of this elasticity is accounted for by the policy channel. Third, the policy channel was stronger in the nineties than in the eighties due to more generous family reunion program. Fourth, the global elasticity and the policy contribution are much greater for low-skilled migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Caglar Özden, 2011. "Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration," CESifo Working Paper Series 3333, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3333
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2002. "Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 551, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    2. repec:luc:wpaper:15-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Driouchi, Ahmed, 2014. "Evidence and Prospects of Shortage and Mobility of Medical Doctors: A Literature Survey," MPRA Paper 59322, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    5. 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.
    6. DELOGU Marco & DOCQUIER Frédéric & MACHADO Joël, 2017. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-16, LISER.
    7. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1265-1286 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; network/diaspora 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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