Advertisement

Settlement or Mobility? Immigrants’ Re-migration Decision-Making Process in a High-Income Country Setting

  • Ilka SteinerEmail author
Article

Abstract

In the context of important migration flows within the EU/EFTA countries, understanding the process of migration decision-making is central to better comprehending current migration patterns in today’s legal context of free movement of persons. By means of newly collected survey data, this paper examines the emigration intentions and plans of German immigrants living in Switzerland. This migrant group presents a lower duration of residence at emigration than other nationalities and is highly educated and integrated in the labour market. The results show that labour market considerations prevail over family obligations. Furthermore, they confirm the heterogeneity between groups regarding emigration intentions, a finding that cannot be confirmed for emigration planning. Moreover, whereas emigration intentions are explained by perceived opportunity differentials and wishful thinking between the place of residence and the destination, emigration planning is based on real opportunities. Migration policy and, more specifically, integration policy have a small impact on emigration, since planning an emigration is triggered by external or personal factors.

Keywords

Stated-preferences International migration Re-migration Intra-European migration Free movement of persons Intentions and plans 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Didier Ruedin, Rosita Fibbi and Gianni D’Amato from the SFM in Neuchâtel, to Andreas Ette and Lenore Sauer from the BiB in Wiesbaden, and to Philippe Wanner and Adrien Remund and Manuela Schicka for their valuable advices.

Funding

This work was financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) under Grant 100017_156563 and supported for English proofreading by the Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics IDESO of the University of Geneva.

References

  1. Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40(4), 471–499.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466601164939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barbiano di Belgiojoso, E., & Ortensi, L. E. (2013). Should I stay or should I go? The case of Italy. Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica, 67(3/4), 31–38.Google Scholar
  3. Bolzman, C., Fibbi, R., & Vial, M. (1993). Les immigrés face à la retraite : rester ou retourner ? Revue suisse d'économie politique et de statistique, 129(3), 371–384.Google Scholar
  4. Braun, M., & Arsene, C. (2009). The demographics of movers and stayers in the European Union. In E. Recchi & A. Favell (Eds.), Pioneers of European integration. Citizenship and mobility in the EU (pp. 26–51). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, L. A., & Moore, E. G. (1970). The intra-urban migration process: A perspective. Geografiska Annaler. Series B, Human Geography, 52(1), 1–13.  https://doi.org/10.2307/490436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cai, R., Esipova, N., Oppenheimer, M., & Feng, S. (2014). International migration desires related to subjective well-being. IZA Journal of Migration, 3(1), 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-9039-3-8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caliński, T., & Harabasz, J. (1974). A dendrite method for cluster analysis. Communications in Statistics, 3(1), 1–27.Google Scholar
  8. Canache, D., Hayes, M., Mondak, J. J., & Wals, S. C. (2013). Openness, extraversion and the intention to emigrate. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(4), 351–355.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2013.02.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Carling, J., & Pettersen, S. V. (2014). Return migration intentions in the integration–transnationalism matrix. International Migration, 52(6), 13–30.  https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.12161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cassarino, J.-P. (2004). Theorising return migration: The conceptual approach to return migrants revisited. International Journal on Multicultural Studies, 6(2), 253–279.Google Scholar
  11. Coulter, R., van Ham, M., & Feijten, P. (2011). A longitudinal analysis of moving desires, expectations and actual moving behavior. Environment and Planning A, 43(11), 2742–2760.  https://doi.org/10.1068/a44105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dabic, M., González-Loureiro, M., & Harvey, M. (2015). Evolving research on expatriates: What is ‘known’ after four decades (1970–2012). The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(3), 316–337.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2013.845238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. de Haas, H., & Fokkema, T. (2011). The effects of integration and transnational ties on return migration intentions. Demographic Research, 25, 755–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. de Haas, H., Fokkema, T., & Fihri, M. F. (2015). Return migration as failure or success? The determinants of return migration intentions among Moroccan migrants in Europe. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 16(2), 415–429.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-014-0344-6. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. De Jong, G. F. (2000). Expectations, gender, and norms in migration decision-making. Population Studies, 54(3), 307–319.  https://doi.org/10.1080/713779089.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dustmann, C. (1999). Temporary migration, human capital, and language fluency of migrants. The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 101(2), 297–314.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9442.00158. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ette, A., & Sauer, L. (2010). Auswanderung aus Deutschland: Daten und Analysen zur internationalen Migration deutscher Staatsbürger. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ette, A., Heß, B., & Sauer, L. (2014). Tackling Germany's demographic skills shortage: Permanent settlement intentions of the recent wave of labour migrants. In European Population Conference (EPC), Budapest, 25–28 June 2014. Google Scholar
  19. Faist, T. (2008). Migrants as transnational development agents: An inquiry into the newest round of the migration–development nexus. Population, Space and Place, 14(1), 21–42.  https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fassmann, H., & Hintermann, C. (1998). Potential east-west migration. Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 6(1), 59–72.Google Scholar
  21. Favell, A. (2008). Eurostars and eurocities. Free movement and mobility in an integrating Europe (Studies in Urban and Social Change). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Garip, F. (2012). Discovering diverse mechanisms of migration: The Mexico–US stream 1970–2000. Population and Development Review, 38(3), 393–433.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00510.x. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Güngör, N. D., & Tansel, A. (2008). Brain drain from Turkey: An investigation of students' return intentions. Applied Economics, 40(23), 3069–3087.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00036840600993999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Haberkorn, G. (1981). The migration decision-making process: Some social-psychological considerations. In G. F. De Jong & R. W. Gardner (Eds.), Migration decision making: Multidisciplinary approaches to microlevel studies in developed and developing countries (pp. 252–278). New York: Pergamon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Harvey, W. S. (2011). Immigration and emigration decisions among highly skilled British expatriates in Vancouver. In K. Nicolopoulou, M. Karatas-Özkan, A. Tatli, & J. Taylor (Eds.), Global knowledge work: Diversity and relational perspectives (pp. 33–56). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Hastie, T., Tibshirani, R., & Friedman, J. (2009). The elements of statistical learning: data mining, inference, and prediction (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hercog, M., & Siddiqui, M. Z. (2014). Experiences in the host countries and return plans: The case study of highly skilled Indians in Europe. In G. Tejada, U. Bhattacharya, B. Khadria, & C. Kuptsch (Eds.), Indian skilled migration and development. To Europe and back (pp. 213–235). New Delhi: Springer India.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ivlevs, A. (2015). Happy moves? Assessing the link between life satisfaction and emigration intentions. Kyklos, 68(3), 335–356.  https://doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jensen, P., & Pedersen, P. J. (2007). To stay or not to stay? Out-migration of immigrants from Denmark. International Migration, 45(5), 87–113.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2007.00428.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Joye, D., Pollien, A., Sapin, M., & Stähli, M. E. (2012). Who can be contacted by phone? Lessons from Switzerland. In S. Häder, M. Häder, & M. Kühne (Eds.), Telephone surveys in Europe: Research and practice (pp. 85–102). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  31. Kalter, F. (1997). Wohnortwechsel in Deutschland. Ein Beitrag zur Migrationstheorie und zur empirischen Anwendung von Rational-Choice-Modellen. Opladen: Leske + Budrich.Google Scholar
  32. Kaufman, L., & Rousseeuw, P. J. (2009). Finding groups in data: An introduction to cluster analysis. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  33. Khoo, S.-E., & Mak, A. (2000). Permanent settlement or return migration: the role of career and family factors. Paper presented at the 10th biennial conference of the Australian Population Association, Melbourne, 28 November to 1 December.Google Scholar
  34. King, R. (2002). Towards a new map of European migration. International Journal of Population Geography, 8(2), 89–106.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ijpg.246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kley, S. (2011). Explaining the stages of migration within a life-course framework. European Sociologie Review, 27(4), 469–486.  https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcq020.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kley, S. (2013). Migration in the face of unemployment and unemployment risk: A case study of temporal and regional effects. Comparative Population Studies, 38(1), 109–136.Google Scholar
  37. Kley, S., & Mulder, C. H. (2010). Considering, planning, and realizing migration in early adulthood. The influence of life-course events and perceived opportunities on leaving the city in Germany. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 25(1), 73–94.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-009-9167-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lu, M. (2011). Analyzing migration decisionmaking: Relationships between residential satisfaction, mobility intentions, and moving behavior. Environment and Planning A, 30(8), 1473–1495.  https://doi.org/10.1068/a301473. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mak, A. S. (1997). Skilled Hong Kong immigrants' intention to repatriate. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 6(2), 169–184.  https://doi.org/10.1177/011719689700600202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mara, I., & Landesmann, M. (2013). Do I stay because I am happy or am I happy because I stay? Life satisfaction in migration, and the decision to stay permanently, return and out-migrate. Norface Migration Discussion Paper, 2013–08,Google Scholar
  41. Massey, D. S., & Akresh, I. R. (2006). Immigrant intentions and mobility in a global economy: The attitudes and behavior of recently arrived US immigrants. Social Science Quarterly, 87(5), 954–971.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00410.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mooi, E., & Sarstedt, M. (2011). A concise guide to market research. The process, data, and methods using IBM SPSS statistics. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  43. Mueller, D. S. (2012). Middling transnationalism and translocal lives: Young Germans in the UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Sussex.Google Scholar
  44. Mulder, C. H., & Wagner, M. (1993). Migration and marriage in the life course: A method for studying synchronized events. European Journal of Population, 9(1), 55–76.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01267901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Piguet, E. (2012). The move to move - what motivates West African university students to consider leaving their countries. SNIS working paper.Google Scholar
  46. Prognos, A. G. (2008). Gründe für die Auswanderung von Fach- und Führungskräften aus Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft. Endbericht im Auftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie. Google Scholar
  47. Pungas, E., Toomet, O., Tammaru, T., & Anniste, K. (2012). Are better educated migrants returning? Evidence from multi-dimensional education data. Norface Migration Discussion Paper, 2012–18,Google Scholar
  48. Reitz, J. G. (1998). Warmth of the welcome: The social causes of economic success for immigrants in different nations and cities. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  49. Remhof, S., Gunkel, M., & Schlaegel, C. (2014). Goodbye Germany! The influence of personality and cognitive factors on the intention to work abroad. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(16), 2319–2343.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2014.884613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Richter, M. (2004). Contextualizing gender and migration: Galician immigration to Switzerland. International Migration Review, 38(1), 263–286.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00196.x. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rossi, P. H. (1980). Why families move. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  52. Ryan, L., & Mulholland, J. (2014). Trading places: French highly skilled migrants negotiating mobility and emplacement in London. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(4), 584–600.  https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2013.787514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Santacreu, O., Baldoni, E., & Albert, M. C. (2009). Deciding to move: Migration projects in an integrating Europe. In E. Recchi & A. Favell (Eds.), Pioneers of European integration. Citizenship and mobility in the EU (pp. 52–71). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  54. Sell, R. R., & De Jong, G. F. (1983). Deciding whether to move: Mobility, wishful thinking and adjustment. Sociology & Social Research, 67(2), 146–165.Google Scholar
  55. SETMOBIL. (2017). Settlement or mobility? Survey data file 2015. Lausanne: FORS, FORSbase.Google Scholar
  56. Soon, J.-J. (2008). The determinants of international students' return intention. University of Otago. Economics Discussion Papers, 0806.Google Scholar
  57. Speare, A. (1974). Residential satisfaction as an intervening variable in residential mobility. Demography, 11(2), 173–188.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2060556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Stegemann, T. (2011). Die Rückkehr immer wieder aufgeschoben. terra cognita, 18(2011), 64–67.Google Scholar
  59. Stegmann, T. (2007). Einflussfaktoren auf die Rückkehrorientierung ehemaliger Gastarbeiter in Deutschland. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.Google Scholar
  60. Steiner, V., & Velling, J. (1992). Re-migration behaviour and expected duration of stay of guest-workers in Germany. ZEW Discussion Papers, 92–14. Google Scholar
  61. Taylor, E. (1976). The social adjustment of returned migrants to Jamaica. In F. Henry (Ed.), Ethnicity in the Americas (pp. 213–229). The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  62. Tharenou, P., & Caulfield, N. (2010). Will I stay or will I go? Explaining repatriation by self-initiated expatriates. Academy of Management Journal, 53(5), 1009–1028.  https://doi.org/10.5465/AMJ.2010.54533183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. van Baalen, B., & Müller, T. (2009). Return intentions of temporary migrants: the case of Germany. Paper presented at the Second Conference of Transnationality of Migrants, Louvain, 23–24 January.Google Scholar
  64. van Dalen, H. P., & Henkens, K. (2007). Longing for the good life: Understanding emigration from a high-income country. Population and Development Review, 33(1), 37–65.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00158.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. van Dalen, H. P., & Henkens, K. (2008). Emigration intentions: mere words or true plans? Explaining international migration intentions and behavior. Discussion Paper CentER, 2008–60.Google Scholar
  66. van Dalen, H. P., & Henkens, K. (2013). Explaining emigration intentions and behaviour in the Netherlands, 2005–10. Population Studies: A Journal of Demography, 67(2), 225–241.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00324728.2012.725135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. van Ham, M., Mulder, C. H., & Hooimeijer, P. (2001). Spatial flexibility in job mobility: Macrolevel opportunities and microlevel restrictions. Environment and Planning A, 33(5), 921–940.  https://doi.org/10.1068/a33164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Waldorf, B. (1995). Determinants of international return migration intentions. The Professional Geographer, 47(2), 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Williams, R. (2006). Generalized ordered logit/partial proportional odds models for ordinal dependent variables. The Stata Journal, 6, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Demography and Socioeconomics IDESOUniversity of GenevaGenève-4Switzerland

Personalised recommendations