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Migration Flows from the Perspective of Sending and Receiving Countries.

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportPh.D. thesisResearch

  • Mariola Pytlikova, Denmark
  • http://www.asb.dk/omos/institutter/departmentofeconomics/
  • http://www.asb.dk/forskning/forskningscentreoggrupper/forskningscentre/centreforresearchinintegrationeducationqualificationsandmarg/
There are two specific phenomena that have had a large influence on the development in international migration during the last decades. First, while labor migration flows were dominating in the past, refugee immigrants and family reunion migrants from less developed non-Western countries have been growing sources of net immigration. Second, the 1990s have been strongly influenced by the collapse of the communism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). After forty years of communist regime, the "Iron Curtain" fell, which brought, among other things, the possibility of movement abroad. Consequently, the former communist countries have become a relatively new and large source of immigration.

In my PhD thesis I analyze the recent developments in international migration by using a rich dataset, which I collected myself by contacting national statistical offices. I use state-of-art econometric tools in my empirical analyses. The thesis consists of an introduction/summary and 4 main chapters, and one of them is written with two co-authors. Concerning the phenomenon of changing composition of the international migration, one chapter of the thesis analyzes the determinants and selectivity in international migration during the latest decades. Other parts of the thesis are devoted to analyses of the CEE migration behavior and to predictions of migration potential from those countries in connection with the EU enlargement.

Specifically, chapter 2 analyzes determinants of interregional migration in a typical Central and Eastern European source country, the Czech Republic. One advantage of the interregional analyses is that it provides a possibility to study the CEE migration behavior in an environment with no migration obstacles such as restrictive immigration policies, i.e. an environment similar to the EU area with the free movement of labor. The results of my analyses show that migrants respond strongly to the interregional differences in wages. On the other hand, the districts' unemployment rates do not seem to play an important role. Further, on average Czechs prefer to move to regions near by and the migration propensity decreases with the distance between two districts. Overall, the scale of interregional migration in the Czech Republic is very low given the large interregional disparities, indicating relatively low migration propensity of Czechs. But the behavior is driven strongly by wages.

While Chapter 2 looks at determinants of internal migration without any migration obstacles, Chapter 3 focuses on determinants of international migration flows. This part is a joint work with Professor Nina Smith and Professor Peder J. Pedersen. We analyze determinants of emigration from 129 countries of origin to 22 OECD countries. The large number of destination countries included in the analysis allows us to analyze the migration patterns for groups of OECD countries which are alike with respect to welfare state regimes or migration policy. We go further in our analysis as we identify "country-based selectivity effects" in international migration. We test whether immigrants from low-income countries, where the educational level is relatively low, tend to go to countries with higher welfare and lower income inequality and whether immigrants from high-income countries tend to go to countries with a lower welfare and higher income inequality level. We also study network effects. Our results indicate that networks have a large positive effect on immigration flows and that the effect is strongest for immigrants from the poorest source countries. We do not find clear evidence that selection effects measured by migration flows being sensitive to differences in public social expenditures have had a major influence on the observed migration patterns until now. Further, traditional factors such as cultural and linguistic distance and migration costs as measured by physical distance between the countries are important.

Chapter 4 analyzes determinants of migration from Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the "Iron Curtain", 1990-2000. I study migration flows from 9 CEECs into 18 OECD countries. The questions I address in this paper are the following: Where did the CEE immigrants go and why? What are the macroeconomic determinants of migration flows from these countries? My analyses reveal that the economic push/pulls factors play an important role in international migration from those countries. The disaggregated results show that there are large differences between the CEE countries with respect to emigration patterns. The lagged stock of immigrants has a strong and positive effect for immigrants from Central European countries, and Romania and Bulgaria, while immigrants from the Baltic countries seem to rely much less on networks. Income gaps have a positive effect on migration flows, particularly from the Southeastern European countries, while employment opportunities in destination countries are main determinants of emigration from the Baltic and Central European countries. Language is important. When controlling for other factors, Baltic emigrants tend to go to English-speaking countries and to a smaller extent to German-speaking countries. Emigrants from Central Europe prefer the German- and French-speaking countries, while Romanian and Bulgarian emigrants favor French-speaking countries.

Chapter 5 concentrates on predicting East-West migration potential. The main purpose of the paper is to give predictions of the migration potential from the 7 new EU member countries to the EEA/EU-13 countries. Being able to analyze "real" migration behavior from these particular countries over the period 1990-2000 helps me to avoid problems related to (double) out-of sample forecasts and to the assumption of invariance of migration behavior across a space that previous studies had to hold. The results of some preliminary predictions of future gross and net migration flows show that the net migration potential from the 7 new EU member countries is lower than the previous studies have estimated. On the other hand, the magnitude of the estimated gross migration flows is relatively high compared to the forecasts from previous studies. Such a development in gross and net migration flows indicates that migration from the new EU member countries towards the "old" EEA/EU countries mostly is a temporary phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationÅrhus
PublisherAarhus School of Business, Aarhus University, Department of Economics
Number of pages158
ISBN (Print)87-91523-18-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Research areas

  • Immigration, Migration Policy

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