DO LOCAL AMENITIES AFFECT THE APPEAL OF REGIONS IN EUROPE FOR MIGRANTS?

Authors


  • The authors are grateful to Mark Partridge, the editor in charge, and to the anonymous referees for their stimulating suggestions to earlier version of this paper. They also acknowledge the valuable comments of participants at a special session during the ERSA Conference in Barcelona. The paper has benefited from the financial support of the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 269868 and of a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship. The research is also part of the Prociudad-CM program and of the U.K. Spatial Economics Research Centre. The usual disclaimer applies.

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper delves into the factors, which determine the attractiveness of regions in Europe for migrants. Contrary to the literature on the United States, which has increasingly focused on the role of amenities, existing research in Europe tends to highlight the predominance of economic conditions as the main drivers of migration. Differentiating between economic, sociodemographic and amenity-related territorial features, we examine the appeal of various regional characteristics for migrants by analyzing net migration data for 133 European regions between 1990 and 2006. Our results show that, in addition to economic, human capital-related and demographic aspects, network effects and—in contrast to existing literature—different types of regional amenities exert an important influence on the relative attractiveness of sub-national territories across the European Union. Our findings therefore indicate that locational choices in Europe may be much more similar to place-based preferences in the United States than originally thought.

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