Social Networks and the Intention to Migrate
51 Pages Posted: 28 May 2017
Date Written: November 29, 2016
Using a large survey spanning several years and more than 150 countries, we examine the importance of social networks in influencing individuals’ intention to migrate domestically or internationally. We distinguish close social networks (composed of friends and family) and broad social networks (composed of same-country residents with intention to migrate), both at home and abroad. We find that social networks abroad are important driving forces of migration intentions, more important than work-related aspects or income. In addition, we find that close social networks abroad with remittances matter significantly more than those without remittances as the individuals become more educated, indicating that networks might work through different channels for individuals with different level of education. On other hand, we find that having stronger close social networks at home reduces the likelihood of migration intentions.
Keywords: intention to migrate, social networks, local migration, international migration, remittances
JEL Classification: F22, F24, R23, O15
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