The Formation of Migrant Networks

34 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2014

See all articles by Margherita Comola

Margherita Comola

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

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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Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

This paper provides the first direct evidence on the determinants of link formation among immigrants in the host society. We use a purposely-designed survey on a representative sample of Sri Lankan immigrants living in Milan to study how migrants form social links among them and the extent to which this network provides them material support along three different dimensions: accommodation, credit, job-finding. Our results show that both weak and strong ties are more likely to exist between immigrants who are born in close-by localities at origin. The time of arrival has a U-shaped effect: links are more frequent between immigrants arrived at the same time, and between long-established immigrants and newcomers. Once the link is formed,material support is provided mainly to relatives while early migrant fellows are helpful for job finding.

Keywords: Migration, Networks, Sri-Lanka, Milan

JEL Classification: J15, D85, C45

Suggested Citation

Comola, Margherita and Mendola, Mariapia, The Formation of Migrant Networks (October 2013). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 353, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2399055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2399055

Margherita Comola

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne ( email )

17, rue de la Sorbonne
Paris, IL 75005
France

Mariapia Mendola (Contact Author)

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

Via Conservatorio 7
Milano, 20122
Italy

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

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

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