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Explaining Differences between the Expected and Actual Duration until Return Migration: Economic Changes

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  • Gerard van den Berg
  • Michèle A. Weynandt

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard van den Berg & Michèle A. Weynandt, 2012. "Explaining Differences between the Expected and Actual Duration until Return Migration: Economic Changes," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 497, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp497
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.411252.de/diw_sp0497.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan, 2001. "Longevity Expectations and Death: Can People Predict Their Own Demise?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1126-1134, September.
    2. David Card & Christian Dustmann & Ian Preston, 2012. "Immigration, Wages, And Compositional Amenities," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 78-119, February.
    3. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    4. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 236-256, June.
    5. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
    6. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:iab:iabdpa:201803 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_119 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Duration analysis; international migration; hedonic forecasting; utility misprediction;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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