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Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation

Author

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  • Elsner, Benjamin

    () (University College Dublin)

  • Narciso, Gaia

    () (Trinity College Dublin)

  • Thijssen, Jacco J. J.

    () (University of York)

Abstract

Diaspora networks provide information to future migrants and influence both their decision to migrate and their success in the host country. While the existing literature explains the effect of networks on migration decisions through the size of the migrant community, we show that the quality of the network is an equally important determinant. We argue that networks that are more integrated in the society of the host country can give more accurate information about job prospects to future migrants. In a decision model with imperfect signalling we show that migrants with access to a better network are more likely to make the right decision – they migrate only if they gain – and they migrate earlier. We test these predictions empirically using data on recent Mexican migrants to the US, and exploit the geographic diffusion of Mexicans since the 1980s as well as the settlement of immigrants that came during the Bracero program in the 1950s to instrument for the quality of networks. The results provide strong evidence that connections to a better-integrated network lead to better outcomes after migration. Yet we find no evidence that the quality of the network affects the timing of migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Elsner, Benjamin & Narciso, Gaia & Thijssen, Jacco J. J., 2013. "Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation," IZA Discussion Papers 7863, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7863
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    Cited by:

    1. Narciso Gaia, 2015. "Labour and migration in rural Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 095, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Catia Batista & Gaia Narciso, 2018. "Migrant Remittances and Information Flows: Evidence from a Field Experiment," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 203-219.
    3. Romuald Méango, 2014. "Financing Student Migration: Evidence for a Commitment Problem," ifo Working Paper Series 187, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. repec:kap:poprpr:v:37:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11113-018-9469-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:zbw:medamr:182240 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:zbw:medamr:182239 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; information; diasporas;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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