Munich Personal RePEc ArchiveOut there on your own: Absence of thespouse and migrants’ integrationoutcomesPoeschel, FriedrichEuropean University Institute, Migration Policy Centre12 February 2020Online atMPRA Paper No. 98993, posted 18 Mar 2020 10:08 UTC
Out there on your own: Absence of the spouseand migrants’ integration outcomes*Friedrich PoeschelMigration Policy CentreEuropean University InstituteJanuary 2020AbstractIn many countries, policies on family reunification of migrants are under re-view. Rules have become more restrictive in a number of cases, with unknownconsequences for integration. This paper investigates quantitatively how ab-sence of the spouse affects migrants’ integration outcomes, also in the longterm.A theoretical model of migrants’ investment behaviour predicts thatmigrants tend to focus on the short term rather than long-term wage growth,until the spouse arrives and the probability of staying increases.Using theAmerican Community Survey, I estimate the effects from absence of the spouseand delays in the spouse’s arrival. An instrumental variable is used to isolatethe causal effect of delays. The results indicate that migrants focus more onwork when their spouse is absent and that delays significantly decrease theirlong-term wages, by around 2% per year of delay.JEL Classification Numbers:J61, J12, J15Key words:Migration, family, spouse, integration, family separation, familyreunification*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 migrantintegration” (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 JonathanChaloff, Ana Damas de Matos, Jean-Christophe Dumont, Mauro Lanati, Thomas Liebig, Martin Ruhsand Gilles Spielvogel for helpful discussions and suggestions.I have received useful comments from aseminar audience at the Migration Policy Centre of the EUI. All errors are my own. Correspondence:[email protected]
1IntroductionA large share of international migrants are married. While many migrate together withtheir spouse, it happens frequently that one migrant arrives first and thus spends someyears in the host country without the spouse. How do periods that migrants spend “outthere on their own” affect their integration?Surprisingly little is known on this issuealthough it has recently risen to prominence in the wake of the surge of asylum seekersarriving in Europe in 2015/2016.Many asylum seekers were married men, hoping toarrange for their spouse and children to join them.
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Test, Statistical hypothesis testing, Statistical significance, Human migration