Measuring ethnic linkages among migrants

Thomas Bauer, Gil S. Epstein, Ira N. Gang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Using three different measures, the aim of this paper is to investigate the channels through which ethnic linkages/networks affect the location choice of migrants. Design/methodology/approach: The authors estimate conditional logit models of the US location choice by Mexican migrants, using individual level data on Mexican-US migration collected by the Mexican Migration Project. Findings: The main finding is that the choice of Mexican immigrants to move to a region has a hump-shaped relation with the amount of fellow-Mexicans living there and with the amount of people coming from the same village. These effects are stronger for illegal immigrants and for first-time immigrants than for legal immigrants and repeat immigrants respectively. Mixed evidence is found for the effect of the total time the Mexicans from the same village have lived in the USA. Originality/value: The paper formulates the location choice of Mexican migrants in the USA as influenced by: the number of Mexicans living in the US region; the number of Mexicans from the same village as the migrants living in the US region; and the total time the Mexicans from the same village have lived in the US region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-69
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2009


  • Ethnic groups
  • Immigrants
  • Labour market
  • Mexico
  • Rural regions
  • United States of America Paper type Research paper


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