Toman Barsbai (Kiel Institute, RA "Poverty Reduction, Equity, and Development")
The vast majority of immigrants to the OECD are family migrants. Yet, the mechanisms that drive family-based migration remain unexplored. This paper presents the first comprehensive economic analysis of family-based migration. We first develop a stylized model that lays out the key mechanisms. We predict family-based migration to (i) increase in the income of the potential sponsor in the country of destination, (ii) decrease in the domestic income of family members in the country of origin, and (iii) decrease in the amount of remittances. We then test these predictions using administrative data on the universe of permanent Filipino migrants to the United States. A unique feature of this dataset allows us to link migrants to their sponsors and reconstruct family networks. For identification, we exploit the fact that obtaining a family-based immigration visa takes several years. Hence, the conditions a Filipino migrant faces upon departure in the Philippines and upon arrival in the US are beyond her control. Using this timing of migration that creates exogenous variation in key variables, we provide evidence that is consistent with our theoretical predictions.
Toman Barsbai (Kiel Institute) — Andreas Steinmayr (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich) — Christoph Winter (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich )