Location determinants of migrant inflows: The Spanish case?
Traditionally, Spain has been a destination for people coming from rich European countries. However, at the end of the last century, the pattern of these immigrant flows changed. The Spanish economic growth model, based on the construction industry, attracted large numbers of immigrants motivated by employment opportunities rather than by the climate conditions. In this article, we analyze the determinants that lead immigrants to move to a particular Spanish province, considering the economic and geographical differences across alternative destinations. We study this question empirically through the estimation of account models for panel data, covering the period 1998-2011. Our findings confirm the initial hypothesis that agglomeration and congestion economic forces play an important role in explaining the location decision of immigrant flows in Spanish provinces. They also reveal the importance of other regional factors, such as the productive structure of the territory, the labor market situation and the urban nature of the region. This result holds even after controlling for the specific, fixed or random, province factors.
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