Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation

54 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2014

See all articles by Benjamin Elsner

Benjamin Elsner

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Gaia Narciso

Trinity College Dublin

Jacco Thijssen

University of York - Department of Mathematics

Abstract

Diaspora networks provide information to future migrants and influence both their decision to migrate and their success in the host country. While the existing literature explains the effect of networks on migration decisions through the size of the migrant community, we show that the quality of the network is an equally important determinant. We argue that networks that are more integrated in the society of the host country can give more accurate information about job prospects to future migrants.In a decision model with imperfect signalling we show that migrants with access to a better network are more likely to make the right decision – they migrate only if they gain – and they migrate earlier. We test these predictions empirically using data on recent Mexican migrants to the US, and exploit the geographic diffusion of Mexicans since the 1980s as well as the settlement of immigrants that came during the Bracero program in the 1950s to instrument for the quality of networks. The results provide strong evidence that connections to a better-integrated network lead to better outcomes after migration. Yet we find no evidence that the quality of the network affects the timing of migration.

Keywords: diasporas, information, migration

JEL Classification: F22, J15, J61

Suggested Citation

Elsner, Benjamin and Narciso, Gaia and Thijssen, Jacco, Migrant Networks and the Spread of Misinformation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7863, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2374644

Benjamin Elsner (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.benjaminelsner.com

Gaia Narciso

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

Dublin
Ireland

Jacco Thijssen

University of York - Department of Mathematics ( email )

Heslington, York YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
75
Abstract Views
658
rank
372,213
PlumX Metrics