Lecturer Tobias Grohmann has received the Hans Raupach Best Paper Award 2023 from the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS). He received the award for his paper “Cultural Similarity and Migration: New evidence from estimating a gravity model of international migration”.
In his paper, Grohmann provides a state-of-the-art assessment of the relationship between cultural similarity and international migration. Grohmann estimates a gravity equation on a panel of country pairs between more than 150 countries from 1990 to 2020, using new estimates of international migration flows and a wide range of cultural similarity measures – linguistic, religious, genetic, attitudinal, and trade-based. He confirms earlier findings suggesting that cultural barriers to migration exist: first, migrants chose destinations over others based on culture and, second, the effect of culture can be at least as large as the effect of income and institutional distances between countries.
Grohmann finds that migration flows increase, all other things being equal, with religious proximity, genetic similarity, and larger volumes of cultural trade. Yet, he also finds that migration decreases with similarity in native languages and individualism. Additionally, the effect of cultural similarity is heterogeneous across different corridors: first, it is smaller for corridors with open borders (EU) compared to corridors with closed borders; second, the level of certain cultural attitudes at origin influences the direction of the effect. Overall, Grohmann’s findings suggest that the relationship between cultural similarity and migration is more nuanced than previously thought
Tobias Grohmann is a PhD candidate and lecturer within the Faculty of Economics and Business’ Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance. He is a migration economist with a background in both philosophy and economics. His research interests lie in the interactions between economics, migration, culture, and identity. He conducts theory-based empirical research using econometric and experimental methods.
The Leibniz Institute of East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) is one of the largest and longest-established research institutions of its kind in Germany. Its primary goal is to conduct innovative research on an international scale and to develop and provide infrastructure services that benefit the research community, as well as to inform the public about the region. Thanks to its international visibility and regional expertise, the IOS makes a significant contribution to the Regensburg Eastern and Southeast Europe area studies cluster and aims to strengthen it in cooperation with the University of Regensburg. With their annual Best Paper Award the IOS honors Hans Raupach, a German lawyer, sociologist, economic historian, researcher of Eastern Europe and founding scientific director of the institute’s economics department.
Questions? Please contact Tobias Grohmann.
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