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The Impact of Labour Market Dynamics on the Return-Migration of Immigrants

  • Bijwaard, Govert


    (NIDI - Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute)

  • Schluter, Christian


    (University of Southampton)

  • Wahba, Jackline


    (University of Southampton)

Using administrative panel data on the entire population of new labour immigrants to The Netherlands, we estimate the causal effects of labour dynamics on their return decisions. Specifically, the roles of unemployment and re-employment spells on immigration durations are examined. The endogeneity of labour market outcomes and the return migration decision, if ignored, confounds the causal effect. This empirical challenge is addressed using the "timing-of-events" method. We estimate the model separately for distinct immigrant groups, and find that, overall, unemployment spells shorten immigration durations, while re-employment spells delay returns for all but one group. The magnitude of the causal effect differs across groups.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5722.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5722
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  1. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2009. "The Microeconomic Determinants of Emigration and Return Migration of the Best and Brightest: Evidence from the Pacific," Working Papers 173, Center for Global Development.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0702, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Govert Bijwaard, 2010. "Immigrant migration dynamics model for The Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 1213-1247, September.
  4. Kirdar, Murat, 2008. "Labor Market Outcomes, Savings Accumulation, and Return Migration," MPRA Paper 7128, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1991. "The probability of return migration, migrants' work effort, and migrants' performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 399-405, April.
  6. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bijwaard, Govert, 2009. "Labour Market Status and Migration Dynamics," IZA Discussion Papers 4530, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
  9. 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, 06.
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