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Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Michel Beine

    () (CREA, University of Luxembourg, IRES, CREAM and CES-Ifo)

  • Frédéric Docquier

    (and IRES, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

  • Caglar Özden

    (World Bank, Development Research Group, United States)

Abstract

Existing migrant networks play an important role in explaining the size and structure of immigration flows. They affect the net benefits of migration by reduc- ing assimilation costs (’self-selection channel’) and by lowering legal entry barriers through family reunification programs (’immigration policy channel’). This paper presents an identification strategy allowing to disentangle the relative importance of these two channels. Then, it provides an empirical analysis based on US immi- gration data by metropolitan area and country of origin. First, we show that the overall network externality is strong: the elasticity of migration flows to network size is around one. Second, only a quarter of this elasticity is accounted for by the policy channel. Third, the policy channel was stronger in the 1990s than in the 1980s as the family reunification programs became more effective with growing diasporas. Fourth, the overall diaspora effect and the policy channel are more important for low-skilled migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Caglar Özden, 2011. "Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration," CREA Discussion Paper Series 11-09, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:11-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:luc:wpaper:15-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Amelia Aburn & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Gone with the Wind: International Migration," Working Papers 1708, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    3. Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel, 2013. "Co-national and cross-national pulls in international migration to Spain," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 51-61.
    4. DELOGU Marco & DOCQUIER Frédéric & MACHADO Joël, 2017. "Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-16, LISER.
    5. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:3:p:1265-1286 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zaiceva, A. & Zimmermann, K.F., 2016. "Migration and the Demographic Shift," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    7. Driouchi, Ahmed, 2014. "Evidence and Prospects of Shortage and Mobility of Medical Doctors: A Literature Survey," MPRA Paper 59322, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; network/diaspora externalities; Immigration policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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