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Decision to Emigrate Amongst the Youth in Lebanon


  • Dibeh, Ghassan

    () (American University of Beirut)

  • Fakih, Ali

    () (Lebanese American University)

  • Marrouch, Walid

    () (Lebanese American University)


This paper studies the determinants of youth emigration decisions, which is considered to be one of the main causes of 'Brain Drain' in Arab Mediterranean Countries (AMCs). We focus on the case of Lebanon using a unique dataset covering young people aged 15 to 29 from the year 2016. The aim of the paper is to identify the profile of youth's propensity to emigrate from Lebanon. The empirical results indicate that youth from non-wealthy backgrounds living in smaller dwellings have a higher propensity to emigrate. It is also found that being male and unemployed has a positive incidence on migration. Moreover, university education promotes the willingness to emigrate; while residents of poor regions are more likely to express such willingness. Finally, the paper provides some insights for policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Dibeh, Ghassan & Fakih, Ali & Marrouch, Walid, 2017. "Decision to Emigrate Amongst the Youth in Lebanon," IZA Discussion Papers 10493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10493

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Kennan & James R. Walker, 2011. "The Effect of Expected Income on Individual Migration Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 211-251, January.
    2. Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2006. "The Influence of Others on Migration Plans," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 652-665, November.
    3. Peter Sanfey & Harry Papapanagos, 2001. "Intention to emigrate in transition countries: the case of Albania," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 491-504.
    4. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 18-29, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2007. "Brain Drain in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 193-218, June.
    7. Brian Fabo, 2013. "Migration strategies of the crisis-stricken youth in an enlarged European Union," Discussion Papers 6, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    8. Mathilde Maurel & Michele Tuccio, 2016. "Climate Instability, Urbanisation and International Migration," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(5), pages 735-752, May.
    9. Anna Mayda, 2010. "International migration: a panel data analysis of the determinants of bilateral flows," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(4), pages 1249-1274, September.
    10. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/7748 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Michel Beine & Christopher Parsons, 2015. "Climatic Factors as Determinants of International Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 723-767, April.
    12. repec:ulb:ulbeco:2013/13418 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Funkhouser, Edward, 1992. "Migration from Nicaragua: some recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(8), pages 1209-1218, August.
    14. Dreher, Axel & Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2011. "Hit and (they will) run: The impact of terrorism on migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 42-46, October.
    15. Coniglio, Nicola D. & Pesce, Giovanni, 2015. "Climate variability and international migration: an empirical analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 434-468, August.
    16. Denise Hare, 1999. "'Push' versus 'pull' factors in migration outflows and returns: Determinants of migration status and spell duration among China's rural population," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 45-72.
    17. Stel, Nora & Naudé, Wim, 2013. "Public-Private Entanglement: Entrepreneurship in a Hybrid Political Order, the Case of Lebanon," IZA Discussion Papers 7795, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Hatton, Timothy J & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "Out of Africa? Using the Past to Project African Emigration Pressure in the Future," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 556-573, August.
    19. Rémi Bazillier & Cristina Boboc, 2016. "Labour migration as a way to escape from employment vulnerability? Evidence from the European Union," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(16), pages 1149-1152, November.
    20. Anda David & Joachim Jarreau, 2016. "Determinants of Emigration: Evidence from Egypt," Working Papers 987, Economic Research Forum, revised Apr 2016.
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    Cited by:

    1. Docquier, Frédéric & Tansel, Aysit & Turati, Riccardo, 2017. "Do emigrants self-select along cultural traits? Evidence from the MENA countries," MPRA Paper 82778, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ramos, Raul, 2017. "Migration Aspirations among NEETs in Selected MENA Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0622-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    emigration; youth; Lebanon; probit model;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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