The role of networks for migration flows: an update

Michel Beine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to cover the literature on the role migrants networks in explaining aggregate migration flows between countries. The author emphasizes the specific role of family immigration policies. To that purpose, the author covers briefly the recent experience of seven receiving countries to highlight the importance of these policies in explaining part of the observed network elasticities. Design/methodology/approach: The author first provides a small review of the literature and the issues at stake. The author then provides an update of the estimates of the network elasticities using the data set on migration stocks and flows from Ozden et al. (2011). Using micro-founded gravity models, the author estimates the network elasticities and discusses the key driving mechanisms explaining their size as well the variation in the amplitude across categories of destination and over time. The author accounts for the issue of multilateral resistance to migration. Findings: The author obtains estimates that are in line with the ones documented previously in the literature. The author finds that the role of networks in attracting migrants has increased after the 1970s. The author emphasizes the specific role of family immigration policies. To that purpose, the author covers briefly the recent experience of a set of receiving countries to highlight the importance of these policies in explaining part of the observed network elasticities. Originality/value: This paper covers the literature on the role migrants networks in explaining aggregate migration flows between countries and obtain new estimates of network elasticities that vary over time and across types of destination countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-1171
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Elasticity macro-estimates
  • Family reunification
  • International migration
  • Network effects

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