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Accounting for Fluctuations in Social Network Usage and Migration Dynamics

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Abstract

In this paper, we examine network capital usage and migration patterns in a theoretical model. Networks are modeled as impacting the migration decision in many ways. When young, larger networks reduce the time lost moving from one region to another. In addition networks decrease the time spent searching for a job. Finally, when old, migrants receive transfer payments through the network. We show that the number and properties of steady state equilibria as well as the global dynamics depend crucially on whether the returns to network capital accumulation exhibit constant, increasing, or decreasing returns to scales relative to the level of network capital. With constant returns to scale, migration flows and network capital levels are characterized by either a unique steady state equilibria or by a two-period cycle. The fluctuations in network capital usage exhibited by our model are consistent with recent empirical data regarding the usage of networks by Mexican immigrants. In the case of increasing returns to scale, either there exists a unique, stable steady state equilibria or multiple equilibria which are characterized as either sinks or saddles. When the returns to scale are decreasing, there exists a unique, stable steady state equilibrium. Finally, we show that increasing barriers to migration will result in an increase in the flow of immigrants, contrary to the desired effect, in the constant and increasing returns to scale cases.

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  • Joseph H. Haslag & Mark G. Guzman & Pia M. Orrenius, 2004. "Accounting for Fluctuations in Social Network Usage and Migration Dynamics," Working Papers 0410, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  • Handle: RePEc:umc:wpaper:0410
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    1. Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2003. "A role for government policy and sunspots in explaining endogenous fluctuations in illegal immigration," Working Papers 0305, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    2. Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2002. "Coyote crossings : the role of smugglers in illegal immigration and border enforcement," Research Working Paper RWP 02-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    3. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    4. Berry, R Albert & Soligo, Ronald, 1969. "Some Welfare Aspects of International Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 778-794, Sept./Oct.
    5. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    6. Helmenstein, Christian & Yegorov, Yury, 2000. "The dynamics of migration in the presence of chains," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 307-323, February.
    7. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sílvio Rendon & Alfredo Cuecuecha, 2010. "International job search: Mexicans in and out of the US," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 53-82, March.
    2. Mark G. Guzman & Joseph H. Haslag & Pia M. Orrenius, 2015. "Government policy under price uncertainty: A source of volatility in illegal immigration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 940-962, August.
    3. Mark Guzman & Joseph Haslag & Pia Orrenius, 2008. "On the determinants of optimal border enforcement," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(2), pages 261-296, February.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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