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Dissecting Network Externalities in International Migration

  • 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)

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.

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File URL: http://wwwfr.uni.lu/content/download/37759/457911/file/2011-09%20-%20Dissecting%20Network%20Externalities%20in%20International%20Migration.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg in its series CREA Discussion Paper Series with number 11-09.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:luc:wpaper:11-09
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  1. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Özden, Çaglar, 2011. "Diasporas," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 30-41, May.
  3. Winters, Paul C. & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1999. "Family And Community Networks In Mexico-U.S. Migration," Working Papers 12907, University of New England, School of Economics.
  4. Bauer, Thomas K. & Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2002. "Herd Effects or Migration Networks? The Location Choice of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 551, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  8. Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina & Özden, Çaglar, 2008. "Brain waste? Educated immigrants in the US labor market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 255-269, October.
  9. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2009. "On the existence of the maximum likelihood estimates for Poisson regression," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25504, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Frédéric Docquier & B. Lindsay Lowell & Abdeslam Marfouk, 2009. "A Gendered Assessment of Highly Skilled Emigration," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(2), pages 297-321.
  11. Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "On the trade impact of nominal exchange rate volatility," Working Papers 03-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  12. Gang, Ira N & Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L, 1994. "Labor Market Effects of Immigration in the United States and Europe: Substitution vs. Complementarity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 157-75.
  13. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
  14. Serge Coulombe & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2009. "Migration and Skills Disparities across the Canadian Provinces," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 5-18.
  15. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Selection or Network Effects? Migration Flows into 27 OECD Countries, 1990-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 1104, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-30, September.
  17. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosenzweig, 1986. "Family reunification and the immigration multiplier: U.S. immigration law, origin-country conditions, and the reproduction of immigrants," Demography, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 291-311, August.
  18. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks In The Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants In The U.S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599, May.
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