Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Migration Enclaves, Schooling Choices and Social Mobility

Piacentini, Mario (2008): Migration Enclaves, Schooling Choices and Social Mobility.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the presence of a network externality which might explain the persistence of low schooling achievements among internal migrants. A simple analytical framework is presented to show how an initial human capital disparity between migrants and non migrants can translate into persistent skill inequality if origin shapes the composition of social networks. We test empirically whether young migrants�schooling decisions are affected by the presence of covillagers at destination, using data on life-time histories of migration and education choices from a rural region of Thailand. Different modelling approaches are used to account for the self-selection of young migrants, for potential endogeneity of the network size, and for unobserved heterogeneity in individual preferences. The size of the migrant network is found to negatively affect the propensity of young migrants to pursue schooling while in the city. This fi�nding suggests that policies seeking to minimising strati�cation in enclaves might have a socially multiplied impact on schooling participation, and, ultimately, affect the socio-economic mobility of the rural born.

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