Return Intentions of Bolivian Migrants During the Spanish Economic Crisis: the Interplay of Macro-Meso and Micro Factors

  • Sònia ParellaEmail author
  • Alisa Petroff


The economic crisis in the Spanish context has played a significant role in explaining the dynamics of return migration in recent years. Based on a qualitative approach, we argue that macro-structural elements in the receiving context operate only as triggers in the decision to return. Instead, factors linked to the micro-meso levels and their interplay with the structural context illuminate key variables that allow us to identify different meanings and strategies to plan the return. The interaction of these determinants with the economic crisis leads to three types of circumstances. For some migrants, the return is a premature closure of the migratory project. For others, the return disrupts their migratory project, while for the third profile, this decision is unreachable due to economic limitations. Beyond the empirical contribution, the paper reveals the need to include the interplay of different levels of analysis (macro-meso and micro dimensions) taking into account the temporal dimension of the migratory process (stages before, during, and after migration), rarely present in the studies of return patterns.


Return migration Return intentions Spain Bolivia Economic crisis 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO), Government of Spain, under Grant number CSO2013-40834-R. It was conducted at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain) Department of Sociology.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain)BarcelonaSpain

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