Immigrants' geographic mobility is higher than you think: evidence from France

Matthieu Solignac, University of Pennsylvania

This paper examines the difference in geographic mobility rates between natives and immigrants in France, while taking into account the effect of emigration. While most natives move within their country of residence, a significant proportion of immigrants leave it returning to their country of birth or migrating in a third country. Thus, immigrants' geographic mobility not only depends on their internal mobility but also on their international mobility. Using a large longitudinal panel dataset over the period 1968-1999, this paper provides a measure of out-migration from French municipalities while taking into account residential migration within France and emigration from France. The mobility of immigrants appears much higher than the one usually estimated on the subsample of individuals who reside in the territory the entire time. The mobility rate of immigrants is even above that of natives. It tends to decrease over time, depending on their individual observed characteristics.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session 2