Xenophobic Attacks, Migration Intentions and Networks: Evidence from the South of Africa

41 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2011

See all articles by Guido Friebel

Guido Friebel

Goethe University Frankfurt; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Juan Miguel Gallego

Universidad del Rosario

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

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Abstract

We investigate how emigration flows from a developing region are affected by xenophobic violence at destination. Our empirical analysis is based on a unique survey among more than 1000 households, collected in Mozambique in summer 2008, a few months after a series of xenophobic attacks in South Africa killed dozens and displaced thousands of immigrants from neighbouring countries. We estimate migration intentions of Mozambicans before and after the attacks, controlling for the characteristics of households and previous migration behaviour. Using a placebo period, we show that other things equal, the migration intention of household heads decreases from 37% to 33%. The sensitivity of migration intentions to violence is larger for household heads with many children younger than 15 years, decreasing the migration intention by 11% points. Most importantly, the sensitivity of migration intentions is highest for those household heads with many young children whose families have no access to social networks. For these household heads, the intention falls by 15% points. Social networks provide insurance against the consequences young children suffer in case the household head would be harmed by xenophobic violence and consequently could not provide for the family.

Keywords: household behaviour, risk, violence, Mozambique

JEL Classification: O1, R2, J6, D1

Suggested Citation

Friebel, Guido and Gallego, Juan Miguel and Mendola, Mariapia, Xenophobic Attacks, Migration Intentions and Networks: Evidence from the South of Africa. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5920. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1921971

Guido Friebel (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
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Juan Miguel Gallego

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

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Bogota, DC
Colombia

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

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Milano, 20122
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

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Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

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Milano, 20126
Italy

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