The Dynamics of Repeat Migration: A Markov Chain Analysis

38 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2004

See all articles by Amelie F. Constant

Amelie F. Constant

Princeton University; UNU-MERIT; CESifo

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

While the literature has established that there is substantial and highly selective return migration, the growing importance of repeat migration has been largely ignored. Using Markov chain analysis, this Paper provides a modelling framework for repeated moves of migrants between the host and home countries. The Markov transition matrix between the states in two consecutive periods is parameterized and estimated using a logit specification and a large panel data with 14 waves. The analysis for Germany, the largest European immigration country, shows that more than 60% of migrants are indeed repeat migrants. The out-migration per year is low, about 10%. Migrants are more likely to leave again early after their arrival in Germany and when they have social and familial bonds in the home country; but less likely when they have a job in Germany and speak the language well. Once out-migrated from Germany, the return probability is about 80% and guided mainly by remittances and family considerations.

JEL Classification: C25, C41, F22, J61

Suggested Citation

Constant, Amelie F. and Zimmermann, Klaus F., The Dynamics of Repeat Migration: A Markov Chain Analysis (November 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=480764

Amelie F. Constant

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Klaus F. Zimmermann (Contact Author)

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
Germany

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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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