Andy Smith


This paper seeks to model determining factors in international migration from 1999-2006. By accounting for relevant variables, the paper aims to elicit the effect of several non-economic factors and their impact on an individual’s decision to relocate. After replicating past literature to legitimize my newly constructed dataset, I add a number of qualitative features, such as a common spoken language, education levels, internet usage and finally an index that aggregates a set of World Bank indices that measures six dimensions of political quality. In the most complete regression, controlling baseline controls as well as a number of relevant features explored in the existing literature, I find statistically significant results for all of the non-economic variables. First, we see that the coefficient on a common spoken language dummy variable is positive and significant at the 1% level, even in the presence of migrant stock. Next, the coefficients on the secondary and tertiary education levels for the origin country are positive and significant at the 1% level. The coefficients on origin country internet usage are positive and significant at the 1% level, suggesting that the information has cultivated international migration. In the same regression, the coefficient on the aggregated political index for the origin country is negative and significant at the 1% level, meaning that an increase in political quality reduces migration from that country. My findings are consistent with theoretical and empirical models, which state that immigration is driven by the pursuit of freedom/education and facilitated by cost reducing features and the availability of information.