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The Impact of Labour Market Dynamics on the Return-Migration of Immigrants

  • Govert E. Bijwaard


    (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI))

  • Christian Schluter


    (DEFI, Aix-Marseille II and University of Southampton)

  • Jackline Wahba


    (University of Southampton)

Using administrative panel data on the entire population of new labour immigrants to The Netherlands, we estimate the causal effects of labour dynamics on their return decisions. Specifically, the roles of unemployment and re-employment spells on immigration durations are examined. The endogeneity of labour market outcomes and the return migration decision, if ignored, confounds the causal effect. This empirical challenge is addressed using the “timing-of-events†method. We estimate the model separately for distinct immigrant groups, and find that, overall, unemployment spells shorten immigration durations, while re-employment spells delay returns for all but one group. The magnitude of the causal effect differ across groups.

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Paper provided by Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2011007.

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Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2011007
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  1. George J. Borjas & Bernt Bratsberg, 1994. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," NBER Working Papers 4913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2009. "The microeconomic determinants of emigration and return migration of the best and brightest : evidence from the Pacific," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4965, The World Bank.
  3. Bijwaard, G.E., 2009. "Labour Market Status and Migration Dynamics," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2009-25, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  4. KIrdar, Murat G., 2009. "Labor market outcomes, savings accumulation, and return migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 418-428, August.
  5. Govert Bijwaard, 2010. "Immigrant migration dynamics model for The Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 1213-1247, September.
  6. Christian Dustmann, 2003. "Children and return migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 815-830, November.
  7. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0702, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Christian Dustmann & Yoram Weiss, 2007. "Return Migration: Theory and Empirical Evidence from the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 45(2), pages 236-256, 06.
  9. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1991. "The probability of return migration, migrants' work effort, and migrants' performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 399-405, April.
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