Will They Stay? Foreign-Born Out-Migration from New Destinations

Douglas T. Gurak, Cornell University
Mary M. Kritz, Cornell University
Min-Ah Lee, Cornell University

Foreign-born living in new destinations in 1995 were 2.5 times more likely to have moved by 2000 than foreign-born living in traditional places. This paper looks at two competing explanations for differential internal migration, namely compatriot affinity versus labor market context. Utilizing confidential Census data for 1990 and 2000, we examine 741 labor markets that cover the entire country and develop new destination classifications specific to the growth and composition patterns of foreign-born from 24 origins. Logistic regression models estimate the relative importance of foreign-born labor market context (wages, employment change, housing rent), origin group context (growth and composition; group size) net of individual human capital characteristics. We find that origin group context has the strongest effect on out-migration but does not act independently of labor market context. Foreign-born are least likely to leave labor markets where large numbers of their compatriots live and that are also striving economically.

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Presented in Session 12: Immigrant Destinations