Intergenerational Social Mobility and Emigration Intentions: A Comparative Study

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Alexi GUGUSHVILI, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
In this study I analyse what are the links between intergenerational social mobility and emigration intentions. Existing research has shown that immigrants are likely to experience social mobility in host societies, but there are virtually no studies which suggest how upward and downward intergenerational mobility, taking place before individuals leave their countries, are associated with emigration intentions. The comprehensive analysis of the role of social mobility in actual emigration behaviour is inherently curtailed by the partial information available to researchers. Good quality data on actual migrants and their current demographic and labour market attributes are accessible in some cases, but these surveys are generally poorer at providing accurate information on the various individual, family, labour market and the macro-level characteristic of countries from which migrants arrive. The opposite is true for the nationally representative household surveys in which only limited information, if any, tend to be available on already emigrated local population. These two fundamental constraints have prompted migration scholars to divert their attention toward intentions to emigrate. Using multivariate statistical techniques and nationally representative and comparative Life in Transition survey data for 33 Western European welfare democracies and post-socialist transition societies , I test whether intergenerational mobility in educational attainment as well as subjective perception of intergenerational mobility have statistically significant links with (1) willingness to move abroad for employment reasons and (2) intention to move abroad within the next 12 months after they are interviewed.