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Social Networks in Determining Migration and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the German Reunification

  • Helmut Rainer
  • Thomas Siedler

This paper empirically examines social network explanations for migration decisions in the context of the German reunification. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we first show that the presence of family and friends in West Germany is an important predictor for the migration hazard rate of East Germans. We then explore whether pre-migration networks have a discernible impact on the economic and social assimilation of East German immigrants in West Germany. We find that East German immigrants are more likely to be employed, and to hold higher-paying jobs, when socially connected to the West prior to emigrating. East Germans immigrants with pre-migration networks also appear to be more integrated into their Western host communities than movers without preexisting social ties.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm in its series CRIEFF Discussion Papers with number 0811.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:san:crieff:0811
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  1. Stephen P. Jenkins & Carlos GarcÌa-Serrano, 2004. "The Relationship between Unemployment Benefits and Re-employment Probabilities: Evidence from Spain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(2), pages 239-260, 05.
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