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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. Christian Broda & David Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
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  12. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
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  14. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2008. "The Erosion of Colonial Trade Linkages After Independence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6951, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  29. Dunlevy, James A. & Hutchinson, William K., 1999. "The Impact of Immigration on American Import Trade in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(04), pages 1043-1062, December.
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