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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Importing Love: Muslim Marriage Migration to the UK.

Shadi Farahzadi (LSE)

Thursday 05 October 2023 13:00 - 14:00

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About this event

Marriage migration is a considerable component of migration to OECD countries, but its economic drivers are underexplored. Muslims, a significant and growing population in OECD countries, exhibit a notable rate of marriage migration. Approximately 50% of British Muslims marry someone from their country of origin. Using a structural estimation approach, this paper identifies the contributions of various underlying factors driving the markedly high Muslim marriage migration rate. I introduce the option of marrying someone from abroad into the classical matching models, thereby identifying and quantifying the drivers of marriage migration. Results show that when Muslims marry within their own group, the gains are similar to those of Indian and Sikh communities. However, due to their “cheap” access to similar individuals from their home countries, Muslims are more inclined to choose international marriages. In the absence of assortative matching preferences, their marriage migration rate would resemble that of non-Muslims, about 10%. Marriage migration policies cannot alter preferences in the short run; therefore, policies designed to increase the costs associated with marriage migration cannot significantly increase mixing between Muslims and non-Muslims. However, these policies lower Muslims' welfare and lead to a larger number of them remaining single.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 13:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Britta Augsburg: britta_a@ifs.org.uk.

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