Academic journal article Migration Letters

Intervening Opportunities and Competing Migrants in Turkish Migration to Germany, 1969-2008

Academic journal article Migration Letters

Intervening Opportunities and Competing Migrants in Turkish Migration to Germany, 1969-2008

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study defines, specifies and empirically tests the concept of intervening opportunities proposed by Stouffer (1940) and the theory of competing migrants proposed again Stouffer (1960) in the context of international migration. An empirical model of Turkish migration to Germany is developed and tested for the 1969-2008 period, using the cointegration technique. We find strong evidence of intervening opportunities and competing migrants. Although, competing migrants are significant in the short as well as in the long-run, intervening opportunities are only significant in the short-run. The results have an important policy implication for the Turkey's accession to European Union. Thus, the migration pressure from Turkey with the accession can be managed by increasing intervening opportunities, hereby increasing foreign direct investments and altering the demand for competing migrants.

Keywords: Intervening opportunities, competing migrants, Turkish migration, cointegration.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

The labour market competition between migrants and natives has been investigated immensely, giving a rise to rich mosaic of theories and empirical analysis, as well as it has provoked public discussions, especially in the economics field.1 The common question has been whether migrants compete or complement with natives in the labour markets given their skill levels. However, the labour market competition between migrants of different country of origins has been neglected in the literature. Migrants from one particular country is exposed also to a competition with groups of migrants from different country of origins, given their stocks, social and capital networks and skill compositions.

Very small literature investigated the impact of immigration on only different ethnic and racial groups' labour market outcomes. Card (1 990) examined impact of the Marielitoson African-Americans and previous Cuban immigrants as well as on all US natives. Similarly, Enchautegui (1993) and Borjas et al. (2006) studied the impact of immigration on African Americans and Krugler and Yuksel (2011) examined whether die recent Latino immigrants are hurting the chances of earlier Latino immigrants and native Hispanics. However, to our knowledge there is no empirical study which investigates the competition of immigrants from different countries.

Likewise, the concept of intervening opportunities and the theory of competing migrants were explicitly introduced by Stouffer (1940, 1960), however, they have not been tested implicitly and empirically in the context of intentional migration.2 Therefore, this study aims to contribute to the concept of intervening opportunities introduced by Stouffer (1 940) and the theory of competing migrants again introduced by Stouffer (1960), by testing them empirically and defining them implicitly. This is to our knowledge the first attempt to define and specify both the concept and the theory by providing a criterion and test them simultaneously. The concept of intervening opportunities states that "the number of persons going in a given distance is proportional to the number of opportunities at that distance and inversely proportional to the number of intervening opportunities" or in other words "the number of persons going in a given distance is directly proportional to the number of intervening opportunities" (Stouffer 1940, pg. 846). The theory of competing migrants states that "the attractiveness of City Y for migrants from City X mil depend, at least to some extent, on how many potential migrants are closer to Y than the potential migrants in X are", (Stouffer, 1960: 7).

In this study, we test whether the slowdown in Turkish migration inflows to Germany which has taken place since 1991 can be explained by the concept of intervening opportunities and the theory competing migrants. For this purpose we utilize the data on total German foreign direct investments to abroad other than Turkey for intervening opportunities and migration flows to Germany from Eastern European countries and Soviet Union for competing migrants? …

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