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The Formation of Migrant Networks

Author

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  • Comola, Margherita

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Mendola, Mariapia

    () (University of Milan Bicocca)

Abstract

This paper provides the first direct evidence on the determinants of link formation among immigrants in the host society. We use a purposely-designed survey on a representative sample of Sri Lankan immigrants living in Milan to study how migrants form social links among them and the extent to which this network provides them with material support along three different dimensions: accommodation, credit, job-finding. Our results show that both weak and strong ties are more likely to exist between immigrants who are born in close-by localities at origin. The time of arrival has a U-shaped effect: links are more frequent between immigrants arrived at the same time, and between long-established immigrants and newcomers. Once the link is formed, material support is provided mainly to relatives while early migrant fellows are helpful for job finding.

Suggested Citation

  • Comola, Margherita & Mendola, Mariapia, 2014. "The Formation of Migrant Networks," IZA Discussion Papers 7981, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7981
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fedotenkov, Igor, 2015. "International Trade and Migration: Why Do Migrants Choose Small Countries?," MPRA Paper 66035, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "Networks in the Diaspora," Development Working Papers 389, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    3. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler (Cohen), 2016. "The formation of networks in the diaspora," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(7), pages 1136-1153, October.
    4. repec:luc:wpaper:15-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sophia Kan, 2016. "Improving health in Tajikistan: remittances trump other income," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 206, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    6. Miriam Manchin & Sultan Orazbayev, 2016. "Social networks and the intention to migrate," Development Working Papers 409, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    7. Gil S. Epstein & Odelia Heizler-Cohen, 2016. "The Formation of Immigrant Networks in the Short and the Long Run," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-16, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Milan; Sri Lanka; networks; migration;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • C45 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Neural Networks and Related Topics

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