MPRA_paper_98993.pdf - Munich Personal RePEc Archive Out there on your own Absence of the spouse and migrants\u2019 integration outcomes Poeschel Friedrich

MPRA_paper_98993.pdf - Munich Personal RePEc Archive Out...

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Munich Personal RePEc Archive Out there on your own: Absence of the spouse and migrants’ integration outcomes Poeschel, Friedrich European University Institute, Migration Policy Centre 12 February 2020 Online at MPRA Paper No. 98993, posted 18 Mar 2020 10:08 UTC
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Out there on your own: Absence of the spouse and migrants’ integration outcomes * Friedrich Poeschel Migration Policy Centre European University Institute January 2020 Abstract In many countries, policies on family reunification of migrants are under re- view. Rules have become more restrictive in a number of cases, with unknown consequences for integration. This paper investigates quantitatively how ab- sence of the spouse affects migrants’ integration outcomes, also in the long term. A theoretical model of migrants’ investment behaviour predicts that migrants tend to focus on the short term rather than long-term wage growth, until the spouse arrives and the probability of staying increases. Using the American Community Survey, I estimate the effects from absence of the spouse and delays in the spouse’s arrival. An instrumental variable is used to isolate the causal effect of delays. The results indicate that migrants focus more on work when their spouse is absent and that delays significantly decrease their long-term wages, by around 2% per year of delay. JEL Classification Numbers: J61, J12, J15 Key words: Migration, family, spouse, integration, family separation, family reunification * This paper develops and extends first results published by the same author in the OECD Interna- tional Migration Outlook 2019, under the title “Family ties: How family reunification can affect migrant integration” (see Poeschel, 2019). The initial work at the OECD was supported by Germany’s Fed- eral Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. I would like to thank Jonathan Chaloff, Ana Damas de Matos, Jean-Christophe Dumont, Mauro Lanati, Thomas Liebig, Martin Ruhs and Gilles Spielvogel for helpful discussions and suggestions. I have received useful comments from a seminar audience at the Migration Policy Centre of the EUI. All errors are my own. Correspondence: [email protected]
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1 Introduction A large share of international migrants are married. While many migrate together with their spouse, it happens frequently that one migrant arrives first and thus spends some years in the host country without the spouse. How do periods that migrants spend “out there on their own” affect their integration? Surprisingly little is known on this issue although it has recently risen to prominence in the wake of the surge of asylum seekers arriving in Europe in 2015/2016. Many asylum seekers were married men, hoping to arrange for their spouse and children to join them.
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