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Labour Market Status and Migration Dynamics


  • Bijwaard, G.E.


In this empirical paper we assess how labour market transitions and out- and repeat migration of immigrants are interrelated. We estimate a multi-state multiple spell competing risks model with four states: employed, unemployed receiving benefits, out-of-the-labour market (no benefits) and abroad. We discuss one-step ahead transitions from all four states and the transition probability, including all intermediate transitions, from employment. Based on the estimated parameters we simulate the labour-migration dynamics for a synthetic cohort to derive relevant economic indicators, e.g. the probability of experiencing an unemployment spell. For the analysis we use data on recent labour immigrants to The Netherlands, which implies that all migrants are (self)-employed at the time of arrival. We find that many migrants leave the country after a period of no-income. Employment characteristics and the country of origin play an important role in explaining the dynamics. The microsimulations of synthetic cohorts reveal that many migrants experience unemployment spells, but ten years after arrival only a few are unemployed. They also indicate that the Credit Crunch will not only increase the unemployment among migrants but also departure from the country. An increase in the number of migrants from the EU accession countries will lead to more dynamics. We do not expect that the recent simplification of the entry of high income migrants will have a lasting effect, as many of those migrants leave fast.

Suggested Citation

  • Bijwaard, G.E., 2009. "Labour Market Status and Migration Dynamics," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-25, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureir:17016

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Selective Outmigration and the Estimation of Immigrants Earnings Profiles," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1402, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. Govert E. Bijwaard & Christian Schluter & Jackline Wahba, 2014. "The Impact of Labor Market Dynamics on the Return Migration of Immigrants," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 483-494, July.
    3. Bijwaard, Govert, 2011. "Unobserved Heterogeneity in Multiple-Spell Multiple-States Duration Models," IZA Discussion Papers 5748, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Bijwaard, Govert E. & Wahba, Jackline, 2014. "Do high-income or low-income immigrants leave faster?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 54-68.
    5. Govert Bijwaard, 2014. "Multistate event history analysis with frailty," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(58), pages 1591-1620, May.

    More about this item


    competing risks; immigrant assimilation; labour market transitions; migration dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


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