Accounting for Immigration Policies in the Analysis of Migration Networks

Viviana Amati, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zurich
Emanuela Furfaro, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Laura Terzera , Università degli Studi di Milano - Bicocca

International migration has become one of the major challenges of today's societies; it represents a relevant component of population change, with some countries being net receivers and others net senders. Thus, a large body of literature has attempted to determine what are the factors influencing the intensity and the direction of migration flows. Among the different applied approaches, few studies used a social network method to investigate the affecting macro factors. Drawing on applications of the gravity model and its variants, the studies explained the network structure considering geographical proximity, population size, cultural traits and push and pull economic factors. In addition to an appealing and convenient representation, the network approach allows to account for tie dependence, i.e. the fact that flows from one country to another might depend on the flows between other pairs of countries. Here, we apply statistical network models to study the effects of macro factors on determining international migration flows from developing countries to the 16 Western European countries that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Besides the traditional pull and push effects, gravity related variables and cultural traits, we investigate the role of immigration policies and of the local immigrants community in explaining the network structure. We also contribute to the existing literature by analysing the networks of migration flows by reason of migrations.

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 Presented in Session 63. International Migration