The Ties that Bind: The Role of Migrants in the Uneven Geography of International Telephone Traffic

Global Networks, 13 (1), 2013, pp. 79-100

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2010 Last revised: 21 Jan 2013

See all articles by Richard Perkins

Richard Perkins

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: March 2, 2010

Abstract

Recent work has suggested that migrants have been a major driving force in the dramatic growth of international telephony over recent decades, accounting for large rises in telephone calls between countries with strong immigrant/emigrant connections. Yet the existing literature has not done a good job of evaluating the substantive importance of migrants in explaining large disparities in levels of bilateral voice traffic observed between different countries. Nor has it gone very far in examining how the influence of migrant stocks on international calling is moderated (i.e. amplified or attenuated) by domestic and relational factors. Our contribution in the present article addresses these gaps in the literature. For a sample which includes a far larger number of countries than previous studies, we show that, together with shorter-term visitors, bilateral migrant stocks emerge as the relational variable with one of the substantively largest influences over cross-national patterns of telephone calls. We also find that the effect of bilateral migrant stocks on inter-country telephone traffic is greater where the country pairs are richer and more spatially distant from one another.

Suggested Citation

Perkins, Richard and Neumayer, Eric, The Ties that Bind: The Role of Migrants in the Uneven Geography of International Telephone Traffic (March 2, 2010). Global Networks, 13 (1), 2013, pp. 79-100 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1619206

Richard Perkins (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

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