Volkswagen Foundation Project Europe’s Global Linkages and the Impact of the Financial Crisis: Policies for Sustainable Trade, Capital Flows, and Migration (2011-2013)

Funded but the Volkswagen Foundation, the project Global Linkages and the Impact of the Financial Crisis: Policies for Sustainable Trade, Capital Flows, and Migration is being carried out by a consortium of partners including Maastricht University’s School of Governance. There are three main work packages: 1) International Trade, FDI, and Financial Frictions, 2) International Banking, 3) International Migration. Within the International Migration work package, there are three main areas: 1) Migration, Trade, and FDI: Complements or Substitutes – A Global View, 2)Immigration, Outsourcing, and Host Country Employment and 3) Transnationalism and Migrant Heterogeneity. The Maastricht Graduate School of Governance is currently working on Transnationalism and Migrant Heterogeneity within this project.

There is some evidence that the relationship between migration, international trade, and FDI depends on migrant characteristics. We rely on the concept of migrants’ transnationalism (Vertovec 1999) to indicate the extent to which a migrant’s presence lowers transaction costs between host and home country. Transnationalism may express itself at several levels, such as in the tasks performed at work (which might include intercultural communication), the sending of remittances to support family budgets in the home country, involvement in diaspora-related activities in the host country, etc. Transnationalism also extends to the links that returnees (former migrants) maintain with their former host countries. The greater the degree of transnationalism, the more likely the migrants’ presence will be complementary, rather than substitutional, with international trade and FDI. We will use data on transnational behavior, particularly in the workplace, for immigrants in the Netherlands and Germany to relate transnationalism to migrants’ socioeconomic characteristics.