Financial support from the family network and illegal immigration

Barriers to immigration of low-skilled workers from developing countries into the advanced countries prevent many potential migrants from leaving their countries of origin. With very low home-country wages in relation to the cost of undocumented migration, the opportunity to migrate often hinges on becoming indebted to a human smuggling organization or family and friends. This paper examines the conditions under which migration is optimal for an individual who lacks liquid assets, with a focus on alternative options for financing migration costs. One is by accumulating the required amount of savings out of source-country income, with or without financial support from the family or social network. The other is debt-bonded migration, which involves borrowing from a smuggling organization and paying the loan while working in the host country. I find that greater financial support from the family network increases the attractiveness of debt-bonded relative to self-financed migration.

Publication infos:
Geneva, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, 2014
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23 p.
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Working Paper ; no: 18/2014

 Record created 2014-06-17, last modified 2019-08-05

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