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Determinants and Dynamics of Forced Migration to Europe: Evidence from a 3-D Model of Flows and Stocks

Author

Listed:
  • Brück, Tilman

    () (ISDC - International Security and Development Center)

  • Dunker, Kai M.

    (ISDC - International Security and Development Center)

  • Ferguson, Neil T.N.

    () (ISDC - International Security and Development Center)

  • Meysonnat, Aline

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Nillesen, Eleonora

    () (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

Violent conflict is a well-recognised driver of forced migration but literature does not usually consider the pull factors that might also cause irregular movements. In turn, the decision to leave and of where to go are rarely considered separately. This is in contrast to literature on regular international migration, which considers both push and pull factors. We contribute to these literatures by studying bilateral forced migration from multiple countries of origin to 28 European countries in the years either side of two "migration crises" – the wars in the Balkans and the Arab Spring. We pay attention to dynamics by analysing lagged flows and stocks of forced migrants and modelling their spatial distribution. We find that these partial adjustment and network effects are key pull factors, with employment rate in the destination country the only significant economic variable. In addition, we demonstrate that it is episodes of escalating conflict, rather than accumulated violence, that drives decisions to leave. Out-of-sample predictions indicate that if conflict in origin countries were to cease, forced migration would continue, albeit at a significantly reduced rate. Our findings suggest that past patterns of forced migration help shape future flows, that forced migration flows cannot easily be stopped by destination country policies, and that preventing conflict escalation is important for preventing forced migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Brück, Tilman & Dunker, Kai M. & Ferguson, Neil T.N. & Meysonnat, Aline & Nillesen, Eleonora, 2018. "Determinants and Dynamics of Forced Migration to Europe: Evidence from a 3-D Model of Flows and Stocks," IZA Discussion Papers 11834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11834
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    forced migration; refugees; displacement; conflict; Arab Spring; MENA; Balkans; dynamic panel data; gravity model;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions

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