DP8964 | Do Local Amenities Affect the Appeal of Regions in Europe for Migrants?

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This paper delves into the factors which determine the attractiveness of regions in Europe for migrants. Contrary to the literature on the US which has increasingly focused on the role of amenities, existing research in Europe tends to highlight the predominance of economic conditions as the main drivers of migration. Differentiating between economic, socio-demographic and amenity-related territorial features, we examine the appeal of various regional characteristics for migrants by analyzing net migration data for 133 European regions between 1990 and 2006. Our results show that, in addition to economic, human capital-related and demographic aspects, network effects and ? in contrast to existing literature ? different types of regional amenities exert an important influence on the relative attractiveness of sub-national territories across the European Union (EU). Our findings therefore indicate that locational choices in Europe may be much more similar to place-based preferences in the US than originally thought.