Impacts of Co-ethnic Networks and Socioeconomic Factors on Immigrants’ Residence Choice in Tokyo: A Dynamic Spatial Panel Analysis
Sophia Discussion Paper Series
27 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2022 Last revised: 28 Aug 2022
Date Written: March 28, 2022
Co-ethnic networks and socioeconomic factors play a fundamental role in explaining immigrants' residence choices. However, their role varies across ethnic groups or populations with different assimilation levels. This study assesses the heterogeneous effects of co-ethnic networks and socioeconomic factors on the attractiveness of migration from four developing countries (China, the Philippines, Brazil, and Vietnam) in Tokyo, Japan. Using a dynamic spatial Durbin model, this study analyzed 242 municipal-level spatial panel data from 2012 to 2018. The results show that the effect of co-ethnic networks is significant for immigrants from China and Vietnam. They are likelier to live in municipalities with co-ethnic networks or neighboring municipalities. In contrast, immigrants from the Philippines and Brazil do not increase consistently in any municipality, and Filipino immigrants tend to move away from the municipalities where they were previously concentrated. According to the interpretation of spatial assimilation theory, the results suggest that Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants may be less assimilated than immigrants from Brazil and the Philippines. These findings provide new empirical evidence to analyze the heterogeneity of ethnic immigrants in their choice of residence and evaluate the assimilation theory's applicability. Empirical results provide relevant evidence and recommendations for immigration and assimilation policies.
Keywords: co-ethnic networks, socioeconomic, immigrants, spatial assimilation, social integration, spatial panel econometric model, Japan
JEL Classification: F22, J61, R12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation