Social Networks and Migration: The View from Places of Origin

Ashton M. Verdery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ronald R. Rindfuss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and East-West Center
Katherine Faust, University of California, Irvine

Although a large body of work addresses social networks and migration, it focuses almost solely on social contacts in places of destination. Neglecting social networks at origin is unfortunate given that the characteristics of the origin set the conditions within which migration decisions are made. Our paper introduces an explicit origin perspective. The data come from a unique prospective, longitudinal data set for Nang Rong, Thailand with complete social network information at origin measured in 1994 and information about out and return migration between 1994 and 2000. We focus on kin networks. Using survey information on spousal and parent-child ties, various measures are derived. Results are preliminary but show, for example, that individuals with many ties (path length two) to kin below the age of 10 and above the age of 60 are less likely to leave, and if they do, more likely to return than individuals with few such ties.

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Presented in Session 135: Determinants of Migration and Immigration