Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 495–515 | Cite as

Circular and Repeat Migration: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country

  • Amelie F. ConstantEmail author
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann


The importance of repeat and circular migration starts receiving rising recognition. The paper studies this behavior by analyzing the number of exits and the total number of years away from the host country using count data models and panel data from the German guestworker experience. Beyond the myth, more than 60% of migrants in the sample from the guestworker countries living in Germany are indeed repeat or circular migrants. Migrants from European Union member countries, those not owning a dwelling in Germany, the younger and the older (excluding the middle-aged), are significantly more likely to engage in repeat migration and to stay out for longer. Males and those migrants with German passports exit more frequently, while those with higher education exit less; there are no differences with time spent out. Migrants with family in the home country remain out longer, and those closely attached to the labor market remain less; they are not leaving the country more frequently.


Repeat migration Circular migration Guestworkers Minorities Count data 



Financial support from Volkswagen Foundation for the IZA project on “The Economics and Persistence of Migrant Ethnicity” is gratefully acknowledged. We wish to thank the IZA-Volkswagen Ethnicity Research Team, and Adam Lederer, Rainer Winkelmann, a referee and the editor for encouragements and helpful comments and suggestions. The GSOEP data used in this study are available upon request from the German Socio-Economic Panel at DIW Berlin (


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DIW DC, George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.IZABonnGermany
  3. 3.Bonn UniversityBonnGermany
  4. 4.DIW BerlinBerlinGermany

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