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Isolating the Network Effect of Immigrants on Trade

  • Aleksynska, Mariya

    ()

    (ILO International Labour Organization)

  • Peri, Giovanni

    ()

    (University of California, Davis)

Within the migration-trade nexus literature, this paper proposes a more carefully defined measure of migration business networks, and quantifies its impact on bilateral trade. Using cross-sectional data and controlling for the overall bilateral stock of migrants, the share of migrants employed in managerial/business-related occupations has a strong additional effect on trade, and especially on exports. Those immigrants should be the ones directly involved in the diffusion and transmission of information relevant for companies trading with other countries. Their presence is found to increase the volume of trade beyond the already known effect of immigrants or highly educated immigrants. When we control for the presence of highly educated immigrants, the share of immigrants in business network occupations shows a particularly large effect on trade in differentiated goods. Specifically, we find that highly educated individuals in business-related occupations are those contributing to export by the largest margin. Business network effects seem particularly important in stimulating exports to culturally different countries, such as those with different legal origin.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6941.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6941
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  1. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Toubal, Farid, 2012. "Revisiting the Trade-Migration Nexus: Evidence from New OECD Data," Munich Reprints in Economics 20350, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  9. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin, 2009. "The pro-trade effect of the brain drain: Sorting out confounding factors," Munich Reprints in Economics 20577, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
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  12. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
  13. Sourafel Girma & Zhihao Yu, 2002. "The link between immigration and trade: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 115-130, March.
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  16. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Jung, Benjamin, 2009. "The pro-trade effect of the brain drain: Sorting out confounding factors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 72-75, August.
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  20. Wagner, Don & Head, Keith & Ries, John, 2002. "Immigration and the Trade of Provinces," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 507-25, December.
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  24. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Kohler, Wilhelm K., 2006. "Exploring the intensive and extensive margins of world trade," Munich Reprints in Economics 20610, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  27. Parsons, Christopher R., 2012. "Do migrants really foster trade ? the trade-migration nexus, a panel approach 1960-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6034, The World Bank.
  28. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
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  31. James A. Dunlevy, 2006. "The Influence of Corruption and Language on the Protrade Effect of Immigrants: Evidence from the American States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 182-186, February.
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