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Project: CHOICES

Understanding migrants' choices - return migrants

This study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the key drivers of migrants' choices and the constraints they face, thereby enhancing the evidence base for policy formulation. The three main topics are (i) the identification and characterization of return migrants, (ii) the determinants of the return decision, (iii) and an examination of returnees' activities after their return.

This project is one of the six subprojects of CHOICES which is carried out by a consortium of researchers led by Jackline Wahba (University of Southampton) and further consisting of Govert Bijwaard (NIDI) , Hector Calvo-Pardo, Xavier Mateos-Planas, Christian Schluter (University of Southampton), Mark Trede (Münster University) and Yves Zenou (University of Stockholm). 
The labour market performance of immigrants in the host country has received ample attention in the empirical literature. Neglected, however, is the question as to what extent labour market performance affects the decisions of migrants to return to their source country. As immigration has become a core public concern in most developed economies, policy makers seek to manage immigrant stocks. Understanding the link between the labour market and migration processes is fundamental to this end. In particular, quantifying the effects of unemployment durations on the return migration decision is relevant to current debates about the financial costs, in terms of the state's social welfare bill, of "failed" immigrants. Such debates also usually ignore that the labour market fortunes of these immigrants can be reversed; i.e. do not consider the effects of re-employment.

Using a unique administrative panel for the entire population of recent immigrants to the Netherlands covering the years 1999-2007 we find that for labour migrants across all immigrant groups, unemployment shortens the time a migrant stays in the Netherlands. In other words, we find evidence that unemployment leads to return migration. Moreover, employment spells following unemployment delay the return for all migrants.

Probability to remain in the Netherlands for labour migrants from the EU-15

Probability to remain in the Netherlands for labour migrants from the EU-15

Publications

Bijwaard, G.E. & Wang, Q. (2016),
Return migration of foreign students. European Journal of Population 32 (1): 31-54. [URL]
Bijwaard, G.E. (2013),
Retourmigratie vanuit Nederland. Internationale Spectator 67(3): 14-19. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. & Wang, Qi (2013),
Return migration of foreign students. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) , 37 p. [pdf]
Doeselaar, S. van & Bijwaard, G.E. (2013),
Scheiding en terugkeer van gezinsmigranten. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 29 (2): 4-6. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E., Ridder, G. & Woutersen, T. (2012),
A simple GMM estimator for the semi-parametric mixed proportional hazard model. : NORFACE MIGRATION , 49 p. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. & Doeselaar, S. van (2012),
The impact of divorce on return migration of family migrants. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor , 24 p.
Bijwaard, G.E. (2011),
Unobserved heterogeneity in multiple-spell multiple-states duration model, IZA Discussion Paper No. 5748. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 28 p. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E., C. Schluter & J. Wahba (2011),
The impact of labour market dynamics on the return-migration of immigrants, IZA Discussion Paper No. 5722. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 27 p. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. (2010),
Immigrant migration dynamics model for The Netherlands. Journal of Population Economics 23 (4): 1213-1247. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. (2009),
Crisis en de werkgelegenheid van recente immigranten. Economisch Statistische Berichten 94 (4572): 685-686. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. (2009),
Labour market status and migration dynamics, IZA Discussion Paper No. 4530. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 46 p. [pdf]
Bijwaard, G.E. & G. Ridder (2009),
A simple GMM estimator for the semi-parametric mixed proportional hazard model, IZA Discussion Paper No. 4543. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), 43 p. [pdf]

Researcher



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