Immigrants’ Geographic Mobility Is Higher than You Think: Evidence from France

Matthieu Solignac, Sciences Po, Paris

This paper examines differences in the geographic mobility rates of natives and immigrants in France. I use a large longitudinal panel dataset over the period 1968-1999, and measure mobility from one French municipality (commune) to another while taking into account mortality and emigration from France. Whereas internal mobility rates are usually estimated on a subsample of individuals who reside in the territory the entire time, I show that exiters generate uncertainty over measures of immigrants’ mobility rates. Moreover, the available retrospective information on geographic mobility appears to be not reliable, especially for immigrants, leading to an overall underestimation of their internal migration rate by 30%.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment