[Article] « Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration

Research Article_s

Herd behavior is not only present, but is also a major determinant of immigration in the European context. More attention should be directed towards understanding social perception phenomena where immigration is concerned.

Andrew Blakely (Middlebury College) , Thierry Warin https://www.warin.ca (HEC Montréal and CIRANO (Canada))https://www.hec.ca/en/profs/thierry.warin.html


This paper examines how herd behavior (mimetism) and network effects determine bilateral migration flows to thirteen EU-15 countries. Using an adapted gravity model controlling for economic activity, welfare progressivity, as well as geospatial and historic relationships, the results force us to question our explanations for migration flows. Herd behavior positively influences European migration flows, whereas network complementarities in the receiving country do not consistently predict, and may in some cases reduce, the likelihood of immigrant inflows. Moreover, economic activity, particularly labor market conditions, plays a lesser role in the migrants’ choice of destination than was previously thought. The introduction of herd behavior as a determinant of European Migration in our empirical analysis hopefully will change the paradigm for understanding migration.

Keywords: migration; mimetism; herd behavior; informational cascades; Europe; network effects



For attribution, please cite this work as

Blakely & Warin, "www.warin.ca: [Article] « Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration", Global Economy Journal, 2012

BibTeX citation

  author = {Blakely, Andrew and Warin, Thierry},
  title = {www.warin.ca: [Article] « Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration},
  journal = {Global Economy Journal},
  year = {2012},
  note = {https://warin.ca/posts/article-choice-or-mimetism/},
  doi = {10.1515/1524-5861.1818}