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The determinants of international migration: Unbundling the role of economic, political and social institutions

Imran Arif

The World Economy, 2020, vol. 43, issue 6, 1699-1729

Abstract: International migrants may relocate because of economic, political and social factors in their origin or destination countries. Using global bilateral migration flows from 103 countries over the period 1990–2000, we explore whether emigrants self‐select based on economic, political and social institutions. Our study adds social dimension as a potential determinant of migration and separates the pull and push effects of political, economic and social institutions. Our results indicate that economic, political and social institutions are significant pull factors of migration; economic freedom has the most substantial pull effect followed by the political institutions; social institutions have the weakest pull effect on migration. Moreover, economic and social institutions are significant push factors of migration, while political institutions do not show any push effect. Furthermore, educated migrants are more sensitive to the destination economic, political and social institutions than less‐educated migrants, and less‐educated migrants are more sensitive to the social institutions at the origin.

Date: 2020
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