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Bogus refugees? The determinants of asylum migration to Western Europe

Neumayer, Eric ORCID: 0000-0003-2719-7563 (2005) Bogus refugees? The determinants of asylum migration to Western Europe. International Studies Quarterly, 49 (3). pp. 389-410. ISSN 1468-2478

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1468-2478.2005.00370.x


This article analyses the determinants of asylum migration to Western Europe. Potential asylum seekers balance the costs of staying versus the costs of migrating. Estimation results confirm that economic hardship and economic discrimination against ethnic minorities lead to higher flows of asylum seekers. However, political oppression, human rights abuse, violent conflict and state failure are also important determinants. Migration networks and geographical proximity are important facilitators of asylum flows as predicted by theory. Colonial experience, religious similarity and casual contact with the developed world (aid, trade and tourism) are not. Natural disasters and famines are also not statistically significant determinants. These events are typically short-term and unexpected, whereas asylum migration to Western Europe requires preparatory planning. If Western European countries want to tackle the root causes of asylum migration, then they need to undertake policy measures that promote economic development, democracy, respect for human rights and peaceful conflict resolution in countries of origin.

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Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an Article published in International studies quarterly 49(3) pp. 389-410 © 2005 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (<>) of the LSE Research Online website.
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 18 May 2006
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:30

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