Does Granting Citizenship to Immigrant Children Affect Family Return Migration

Christoph Sajons
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

In this study, I examine the effect of introducing the birthplace principle for children of foreigners on the return migration behavior of migrant families. Using the reform of the German citizenship law in 1999 and data from the German Microcensus from 2001 to 2006, I exploit the discrimination of different birth cohorts included in this legislation to apply a regression discontinuity design for the analysis. Comparing the return migration behavior of foreign-citizen families with children born directly before and after the enactment, I find some evidence that granting citizenship to immigrant children reduces the likelihood of return migration for their parents. Self-selection into return migration, on the other hand, does not seem to be affected significantly.

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