Explaining Differences between the Expected and Actual Duration until Return Migration: Economic Changes
This paper explores the difference between intentions and realizations in return migration with the help of a duration model. Using the GSOEP the results lend support to the fact that people use simplifying heuristics when trying to forecast the future; their return intentions indicate bunching in heaps of 5 years. Along these lines we find that migrated individuals systematically underestimate the length of their stay in the receiving country. We find that the difference decreases the older one gets, but is larger the more disadvantaged one feels due to ones origin as an example. The robustness checks show that the results do not hinge on a single definition, or set of explaining variables. The consistency in the underestimation may have important policy and modeling implications.
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