Political factors as drivers of international migration

Martin Guzi, Masaryk University
Alicia Adsera, Princeton University
Carles Boix, Princeton University
Mariola Pytlikova, CERGE-EI Prague and VSB-Technical University of Ostrava

Ethnic conflicts and wars induce flows of refugees out of the affected areas. How important is the role of ethnic conflicts and wars in explaining migration flows is however not well-understood given the rather limited theoretical and particularly empirical contributions to the topic. In this paper, we add to the literature that highlights different pull and push factors to explain the direction and strength of migrant flows by focusing on whether migration flows respond to political pressures and conflicts including political violence, armed conflicts and wars. We consider the outcomes of conflicts to act as push factors in origins. Similarly peace and political stability can act as a pull factor in destinations. To investigate these hypotheses, we combine data on (1) annual data on international migration flows and foreign population stocks in OECD countries from 223 countries of origin to 42 destinations for the period 1980-2013 (Adserà and Pytliková, 2015) and decennial migration estimates from UN/world Bank for all countries (2) data on wars, coup d’etat, revolutions and democratic regimes from different sources; (3) controls of socio-economic conditions in origins and destinations, political rights and cultural and linguistic barriers to migration, and estimate a gravity type model of migration determinants.

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Presented in Session 62: Migration, politics and welfare states