Labor Market and Institutional Drivers of Youth Irregular Migration: Evidence from the MENA Region

27 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018

See all articles by Ghassan Dibeh

Ghassan Dibeh

American University of Beirut

Ali Fakih

Lebanese American University

Walid Marrouch

Lebanese American University; CIRANO

Abstract

Irregular migration became an alarming issue over the last decade for both developed and developing countries. A prevailing assumption in migration policy is that labor market and institutional characteristics play a crucial role in pushing people to leave their home countries in search for better life prospects. This paper examines this hypothesis using a unique dataset covering young people aged 15 to 29 from five major MENA countries from the year 2016. Using a probit model, the paper finds that labor market drivers (unemployment, job sector, social security, contract type) are of great importance for the decision to migrate irregularly amongst the youth in the MENA region and that the quality of institutions matters. In addition, the lack of wealth and economic opportunities enhance their willingness to engage in irregular migration.

Keywords: irregular migration, youth, labor markets, institutions, Arab Spring

JEL Classification: J61, O17

Suggested Citation

Dibeh, Ghassan and Fakih, Ali and Marrouch, Walid, Labor Market and Institutional Drivers of Youth Irregular Migration: Evidence from the MENA Region. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11903. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3286162

Ghassan Dibeh (Contact Author)

American University of Beirut

Ali Fakih

Lebanese American University ( email )

Walid Marrouch

Lebanese American University ( email )

P.O. Box 13 - 5053
Chouran-Beirut
Beirut, 1102 2801
Lebanon

CIRANO ( email )

1130 Rue Sherbrooke #1400
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2M8
Canada

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