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Emigrant or Sojourner? Migration Intensity and Its Determinants

  • Florian Kaufmann
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    This Working Paper develops the concept of 'migration intensity'--the degree to which a migrant shifts his attachment, association and engagement from his place of origin to the migration destination. Among male Mexican migrants to the United States, Kaufmann finds strong complementarities among remittances, migration patterns, and localized investments in physical, social and human capital. Based on these, he derives an Index of Migration Intensity (IMI). The IMI reveals that the majority of Mexicans have low levels of migration intensity, but migration intensity has been growing over time. Migration intensity varies as expected: education, prior migration experience, foreign family ties, and original residence in communities with few economic opportunities all promote higher migration intensity. From the standpoint of sending countries, low migration intensity has the desirable effects of enhancing positive financial transfers and mitigating the resource losses connected to the human outflow. From the standpoint of receiving countries, low migration intensity may also be desirable, depending on policy goals.

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    Paper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp154.

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    Date of creation: 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp154
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    1. Jorge Durand & William Kandel & Emilio Parrado & Douglas Massey, 1996. "International migration and development in mexican communities," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 249-264, May.
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    8. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
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    10. Stark, Oded & Bloom, David E, 1985. "The New Economics of Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 173-78, May.
    11. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Making it in America: Social Mobility in the Immigrant Population," NBER Working Papers 12088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Dustmann, Christian, 2000. "Temporary Migration and Economic Assimilation," IZA Discussion Papers 186, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Djajic, Slobodan & Milbourne, Ross, 1988. "A general equilibrium model of guest-worker migration : The source-country perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
    14. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Cynthia Bansak & Susan Pozo, 2005. "On the remitting patterns of immigrants: evidence from Mexican survey data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 37-58.
    15. Robert E.B. Lucas, 2005. "International Migration and Economic Development," Books, Edward Elgar, number 3826, April.
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