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Determinants of International Migration: Empirical Evidence for Migration from Developing Countries to Germany


  • Rotte, Ralph
  • Vogler, Michael


By means of a descriptive survey of theoretical literature we first work out the potential determinants that may drive international migration from developing to developed countries. In addition, we look at the relationship between trade, development and migration. Empirical studies focusing on international migration from Less Developed Countries (LDCs) are, so far, very scarce. In this paper, we utilize a new dataset that is based on migration to Germany from 86 African and Asian countries. Information is available on overall moves (1981–95) and asylum migration (1984–95). The estimation results confirm the importance of the economic differential between countries for migration; the existence of an inverse u-shaped relationship between development and migration; the importance of the political situation in the sending countries; and the significance of network effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Rotte, Ralph & Vogler, Michael, 1998. "Determinants of International Migration: Empirical Evidence for Migration from Developing Countries to Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 1920, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1920

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chris Robinson & Nigel Tomes, 1982. "Self-Selection and Interprovincial Migration in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(3), pages 474-502, August.
    2. Ghatak, Subrata & Levine, Paul & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 1996. " Migration Theories and Evidence: An Assessment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 159-198, June.
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    1. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2017:n:373 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dominique M. Gross & Nicolas Schmitt, 2003. "The Role of Cultural Clustering in Attracting New Immigrants," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 295-318.
    3. Diego Hernandez & Alexandra Rudolph, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 97, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 23 Nov 2011.
    4. Muhammad Ahad, 2015. "The Determinants of International Migration in Pakistan: New Evidence from Combined Cointegration, Causality and Innovative Accounting Approach," Economic Research Guardian, Weissberg Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 159-175, December.
    5. Schmidt, Christoph M. & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "International Labor Migration, Economic Growth and Labor Markets - The Current State of Affairs," RWI Discussion Papers 20, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    6. Clemente, Jesus & Pueyo, Fernando & Sanz, Fernando, 2008. "A migration model with congestion costs: Does the size of government matter," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 300-311, March.
    7. Donata Bessey, 2012. "International student migration to Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 345-361, February.
    8. Hernandez, Diego & Rudolph, Alexandra, 2015. "Modern day slavery: What drives human trafficking in Europe?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 118-139.
    9. John P Haisken-DeNew & Christoph M. Schmidt & Thomas Bauer, 2004. "International Labor Migration, Economic Growth and Labor Markets – The Current State of Affairs," RWI Discussion Papers 0020, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    10. Anghel, Remus Gabriel & Botezat, Alina & Cosciug, Anatolie & Manafi, Ioana & Roman, Monica, 2016. "International migration, return migration, and their effects. A comprehensive review on the Romanian case," MPRA Paper 75528, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2016.
    11. Ngoc Thi Minh Tran & Michael P. Cameron & Jacques Poot, 2017. "Local Institutional Quality and Return Migration: Evidence from Vietnam," Working Papers in Economics 17/10, University of Waikato.
    12. Wadim Strielkowski & Petr Filipec & Miroslav Štefánik & Karolina Kowalska, 2013. "Outward Labour Migration in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia after the EU Enlargement in 2004," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 7(1), pages 042-054, March.
    13. Byeongwoo KANG & Yukihito Sato & Yasushi UEKI, 2017. "Mobility of Highly Skilled Retirees from Japan to the Republic of Korea and Taiwan," Working Papers DP-2016-31, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
    14. Mendoza, Jorge Eduardo, 2006. "Determinantes macroeconómicos regionales de la migración mexicana
      [Regional macroeconomic determinants of Mexican migration]
      ," MPRA Paper 2860, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
    15. Amaranta Melchor del Río & Susanne Thorwarth, 2006. "Tomatoes or Tomato Pickers? - Free Trade and Migration in the NAFTA Case," Working Papers 0429, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2006.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:132-:d:125900 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Dominique Gross & Nicolas Schmitt, 2000. "Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Immigration Flows and Cultural Clustering in Host Countries," Discussion Papers dp00-06, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, revised Feb 2000.
    18. Victoria Chorny & Rob Euwals & Kees Folmer, 2007. "Immigration policy and welfare state design; a qualitative approach to explore the interaction," CPB Document 153, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    19. repec:zbw:rwidps:0020 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy in Integrated National Economies," IZA Discussion Papers 170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Wadim Strielkowski & Jan Hněvkovský, 2013. "The Performance Of The Czech Labour Market After The 2004 Eu Enlargement," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(197), pages 79-94, April – J.
    22. Pilar García Gómez & Guillem López, 2003. "Hypothesis on immigration and welfare," Economics Working Papers 905, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2005.
    23. Hernandez, Diego & Rudolph, Alexandra, 2011. "Modern Day Slavery: What Drives Human Trafficking in Europe?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 83, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

    More about this item


    Developing Countries; International Migration; Migration;

    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
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations


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