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Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Elsner

    (Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Gaia Narciso

    (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Jacco J. J. Thijssen

    (University of York)

Abstract

Diaspora networks provide information to future migrants and influence both their decision to migrate and their success in the host country. While the existing literature explains the effect of networks on migration decisions through the size of the migrant community, we show that the quality of the network is an equally important determinant. We argue that networks that are more integrated in the society of the host country can give more accurate information about job prospects to future migrants. In a decision model with imperfect signalling we show that migrants with access to a better network are more likely to make the right decision - they migrate only if they gain - and they migrate earlier. We test these predictions empirically using data on recent Mexican migrants to the US, and exploit the geographic diffusion of Mexicans since the 1980s as well as the settlement of immigrants that came during the Bracero program in the 1950s to instrument for the quality of networks. The results provide strong evidence that connections to a better-integrated network lead to better outcomes after migration. Yet we find no evidence that the quality of the network affects the timing of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Elsner & Gaia Narciso & Jacco J. J. Thijssen, 2014. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1403, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1403
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    2. Catia Batista & Gaia Narciso, 2018. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 203-219.
    3. Romuald Méango, 2014. "Financing Student Migration: Evidence for a Commitment Problem," ifo Working Paper Series 187, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. Erin Trouth Hofmann & E. Miranda Reiter, 2018. "Geographic Variation in Sex Ratios of the US Immigrant Population: Identifying Sources of Difference," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 37(3), pages 485-509, June.
    5. Ademmer, Esther & Barslund, Mikkel & Benček, David & Di Salvo, Mattia & Groll, Dominik & Hoxhaj, Rezart & Kadkoy, Omar & Lanati, Mauro & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya & Lücke, Matthias & Ludolph, Lars & Pizzu, 2018. "2018 MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe. Flexible Solidarity: A comprehensive strategy for asylum and immigration in the EU," MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe, Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM), number 182240, September.
    6. Ademmer, Esther & Akgüç, Mehtap & Barslund, Mikkel & Di Bartolomeo, Anna & Benček, David & Groll, Dominik & Hoxhaj, Rezart & Lanati, Mauro & Laurentsyeva, Nadzeya & Lücke, Matthias & Ludolph, Lars & R, 2017. "2017 MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe. Sharing responsibility for refugees and expanding legal immigration," MEDAM Assessment Report on Asylum and Migration Policies in Europe, Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM), number 182239, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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