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The role of networks for migration flows - an update

Michel Beine ()
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Michel Beine: CREA, Université de Luxembourg

CREA Discussion Paper Series from Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg

Abstract: This paper covers the literature on the role of migrants networks in explaining aggregate migration flows between countries. We first provide a small review of the literature and the issues at stake. We then provide an update of the estimates of the network elasticities using data on migration stocks and flows extracted from Ozden et al. (2011). Using a micro-founded gravity model, we estimate the network elasticities and discuss the key driving mechanisms explaining their size as well their variation across categories of destination countries and over time. We account for the issue of multilateral resistance to migration and obtain estimates that are in line with the ones documented previously in the literature. We find that the role of networks in attracting migrants has increased after the 70’s. As a way to shed some light on this result, we emphasize the specific role of family immigration policies. To that aim, we cover briefly the recent experience of a set of destination countries to highlight the importance of these policies in explaining part of the observed network elasticities.

Keywords: International migration; Network effects; Elasticity macro-estimates; Diasporas. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 O15 R11 R15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int, nep-mig and nep-ure
Date: 2015
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