Migration and social networks


Dr. Joyce Chen, Department of Agriculture Education
Rank at time of award: Assistant Professor


This proposal constitutes a supplement to an existing project directed by the applicant  (joint with Joseph Kaboski, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics) examining the causal effect of split migration, funded by the Population and Health Targeted Investment in Excellence initiative .  The objective of the supplementary project is to examine the role of social networks in migration decisions and experiences. To achieve this objective, two additional data sources are sought: (1) a survey module on migration history, including questions on both permanent and temporary/circular migration episodes, will be added to the TIE-funded project, and (2) secondary data on local economic conditions (e.g. employment, wages, industrial composition, growth, government policies, NGO-sponsored programs) will be requested from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies with assistance from collaborators at Dhaka University.
Specific research questions to be addressed by this project include:
1. Are individuals more likely to migrate when others in their social network have already done so and, if so, what is the significance of this relationship?
2. Conditional on the migration decision, do social networks increase the returns to migration, e.g. via shorter periods of unemployment  or higher average wages?
3. What, if any, demographic characteristics affect the import of social networks for migration?
4. Can and are social networks utilized to provide monitoring when household members are temporarily not in co-residence?

Publications resulting from this seed grant:

Braun, Boris, Joyce J. Chen, Kathryn Dotzel*, and Craig Jenkins. “Climate Change and Migration in Coastal Bangladesh.” Forthcoming. Geographische Rundschau.