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Co-national and transnational networks in international migration to Spain

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  • Neubecker, Nina
  • Smolka, Marcel

Abstract

This paper provides evidence that transnational networks, defined as networks operating across nationalities, are shaping observed patterns of international migration. In a stylized model of migration with random friendship formation, individuals from a given origin country are attracted to destinations hosting large migrant communities from countries which are culturally and geographically close to their own origin country. In addition, the attracting force of a large community of co-national migrants is the larger, the larger the community of migrants from other culturally proximate countries in the same destination. Both predictions are supported by aggregate migration data on international migration to Spain, detailed by origin country and destination province. Our findings imply that the literature estimating network effects in migration has been overly restrictive in its definition of migrant networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Neubecker, Nina & Smolka, Marcel, 2012. "Co-national and transnational networks in international migration to Spain," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 46, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lewer, Joshua J. & Van den Berg, Hendrik, 2008. "A gravity model of immigration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 164-167, April.
    2. Aslund, Olof, 2005. "Now and forever? Initial and subsequent location choices of immigrants," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 141-165, March.
    3. Stark, Oded & Wang, You Qiang, 2002. "Migration dynamics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 159-164, July.
    4. Nina Neubecker & Marcel Smolka & Anne Steinbacher, 2012. "Networks and Selection in International Migration to Spain," IAW Discussion Papers 83, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).
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    7. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
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    12. Thomas Bauer & Gil S. Epstein & Ira N. Gang, 2007. "The Influence of Stocks and Flows on Migrants’ Location Choices," Research in Labor Economics,in: Aspects of Worker Well-Being, volume 26, pages 199-229 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; Co-national and transnational friendships; Network effect; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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