Migration: Economically Motivated or a Matter of Networks: A Case Study of Migration from Eastern Europe to Germany

van der Haar, Ella, Foreign Affairs - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Pandya, Sonal, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Leblang, David, Department of Politics, University of Virginia

What determines migration? More specifically, what factors influence the decision of migrants to migrate? This paper explores the relative importance of economic migration arguments versus migrant network parameters on a regional level in explaining and predicting migration flows. It employs new data on migration from Eastern European New Member States to Germany and its respective Bundeslander between 2000 and 2012. This paper aims to determine whether traditional neoclassical economic theory can be extended with elements of migrant network theory to create a more complete theory that is more effective in explaining migration flows in the case of predicting migration to different regions within a country. Using fixed effects regression models this paper finds that both economic as well as network variables have a strong and positive impact on migration flows from the Eastern European New Member States.

MA (Master of Arts)
Eastern Europe, Germany, European migration, migration
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