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Most current research on forced migration focuses on explaining patterns of displacement during armed conflicts and the role that social networks play in pulling people away from conflict torn areas. But what happens to displaced persons after a conflict ends? While many of these individuals are able to resettle in the place to which they fled during conflict, some individuals return to their places of origin while others remain in limbo. This research seeks to better understand behavior after flight. Using a rational choice framework, we theorize that people are strategic in their calculations of the costs and benefits of trying to return to their former lives. We argue that social networks and economic conditions are likely to play as important a role in return migration as in forced migration. Using primary data collected at the individual level, we examine the impact of various factors that affect the choices of displaced persons to return home or not in the aftermath of flight.




Nepal Study Center


Working Paper