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The migration flux: Understanding international immigration through internal migration

  • Rickard Sandell


    (IMDEA Social Sciences Institute)

This paper introduces the idea that the network structure that emerges from a foreign-born population's internal migration process changes the conditions for international immigration. The idea is tested by using data from the period between 1998 and 2008 about virtually all internal and international migration events in Spain. The findings show that internal migration changes the intensity and the quality content of immigrant social capital transfers, with both positive and negative ramifications for subsequent network-driven international migration. The effect of internal migration was particularly influential in localities with no prior direct international immigration experience. The findings also revealed a synergistic effect between the two migration processes - high levels of internal migration lead to elevated overall international immigration levels. Almost all research focusing on network-driven migration treats the causal mechanism producing the network effect in an endogenous way. For example, it is commonly claimed that increasing international immigration is the result of an expansion of the immigrant network due to past international immigration. My findings constitute explicit evidence that network-driven international migration is also determined by exogenous factors such as the second-order migration of past migrants in the destination.

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Paper provided by Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales in its series Working Papers with number 2011-20.

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Date of creation: 16 Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imd:wpaper:wp2011-20
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  1. Carlo Devillanova & Walter García-Fontes, 2004. "Migration across Spanish provinces: evidence from the social security records (1978-1992)," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 28(3), pages 461-487, September.
  2. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. María Hierro, 2009. "Modelling the dynamics of internal migration flows in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(3), pages 683-692, 08.
  4. Dunlevy, James A. & Gemery, Henry A., 1978. "Economic Opportunity and the Responses of “Old” and “New” Migrants to the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 901-917, December.
  5. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  6. Benjamin Davis & Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters, 2002. "Domestic and International Migration from Rural Mexico: Disaggregating the effects of network structure and composition," Working Papers 02-13, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  7. Kamar Ali & Mark D. Partridge & Dan S. Rickman, 2010. "International Immigration and Domestic Out-Migrants: Are Domestic Migrants Moving to New Jobs or Away from Immigrants?," Economics Working Paper Series 1001, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  8. Corinne Deléchat, 2001. "International Migration Dynamics: The Role of Experience and Social Networks," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 15(3), pages 457-486, 09.
  9. Krupka, Douglas J., 2007. "Location-Specific Human Capital, Location Choice and Amenity Demand," IZA Discussion Papers 2987, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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