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Social Influences and Aggregated Immigration Dynamics: The Case of Spain 1999–2009

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Abstract

This research aims at broadening the applicability and scope of network-based explanations of international migration to include explanations of aggregated immigration dynamics for multiple immigrant collectives. Using a unique dataset that contains data on approximately 4.5 million international immigration events from 180 different origin countries in Spain between 1999 and 2009, my analysis shows conclusively that information about changes in the supply of immigrant social capital between past and potential immigrants explains the variation in local immigration rates in the destination society. It also show that incorporating information about such social network influences is very informative when the goal is to explain (1) temporal variation in intra-collective international immigration flows across different locations in the destination, (2) temporal variation in inter-collective international immigration flows within a specific location in the destination, (3) intra-collective differences in international immigration across locations in the destination, and finally (4) inter-collective differences in local international immigration within the same geographical location in the destination.

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