What do Networks do? The Role of Networks on Migration and 'Coyote' Use

17 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2010  

Sarah Dolfin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Garance Genicot

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Abstract

While a large literature has established that migration experience among an individual's family and community networks tends to encourage migration, there is little research investigating the mechanism by which networks exert such effects. This paper aims to determine the relative importance of three potential benefits provided by networks: information on border crossing, information on jobs, and credit. We develop empirical tests of these effects based on a simple model that allows individuals to choose between migrating alone or with the help of a border smuggler. Using a dataset of undocumented Mexican migrants to the United States, we find that larger family networks encourage both migration and coyote use, consistent with the job information hypothesis. In contrast, community networks appear to provide crossing information. The finding that family networks have a smaller impact for asset holders indicates that some of the benefit the family network provides is a source of credit.

Suggested Citation

Dolfin, Sarah and Genicot, Garance, What do Networks do? The Role of Networks on Migration and 'Coyote' Use. Review of Development Economics, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 343-359, May 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1590547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9361.2010.00557.x

Sarah Dolfin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Garance Genicot (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-7144 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/gg58

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