Working paper

The (Option-)Value of Overstaying

Romuald Méango, and François Poinas


The paper is structured around three main contributions. First, it takes advan-tage of a unique survey on Afghan asylum seekers in Germany to provide novel descriptive insights into asylum seekers’ beliefs about their outcomes and the as-sociated intention to overstay. Second, it estimates asylum seekers’ perceived ex ante returns on overstaying, and option values of regularisation, deportation, and experimentation. Third, it assesses and rejects the cost-effectiveness argument for assisted voluntary return policies. Instead, it estimates a sizeable willingness-to-pay of asylum seekers for investments that would guarantee their regularisation.


Subjective expectations; Intention to overstay; Asylum seekers; Germany; Afghanistan;

JEL codes

  • C20: General
  • D84: Expectations • Speculations
  • F22: International Migration
  • J15: Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants • Non-labor Discrimination
  • J18: Public Policy
  • J61: Geographic Labor Mobility • Immigrant Workers
  • O15: Human Resources • Human Development • Income Distribution • Migration


Romuald Méango, and François Poinas, The (Option-)Value of Overstaying, TSE Working Paper, n. 23-1478, October 2023.

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 23-1478, October 2023