Settlers and guests – determinants of return migration from UK and Ireland to Poland in the period 2007-2009

Pawel A. Strzelecki, Warsaw School of Economics
Robert Wyszynski, Warsaw School of Economics
Katarzyna Saczuk, Warsaw School of Economics
Marcin Hołda, Warsaw School of Economics

According to the Polish Central Statistical Office estimates after the year 2004, when Poland joined EU, more than 1 million Polish citizens moved to other EU countries. Recent economic crisis that asymmetrically influenced Poland compared to main destination countries created an opportunity to observe how rapid changes in economic incentives can influence decisions about return migration. There are two aims of this paper: (1) identification of the strategies adopted by Polish emigrants that can explain their returns and (2) the verification of the two migration theories (classical approach versus "New Economics of Migration" approach) on the basis of recent observations. The analysis in the paper is based mainly on the unique three-wave survey of Polish emigrants performed by the National Bank of Poland in United Kingdom and Ireland. The waves of the survey were carried out in autumn of each year on the sample of 1600 in 2007 and 2500 in the years 2008-2009. The discrimination between strategies has been performed on the basis of empirical analysis and ordered logit using extensive information that included among others: duration of the current stay and further plans, status on the labour market, personal characteristics, information about savings, remittances etc. The results of the analysis show that assuming that the plans regarding duration of stay abroad reflect the migration strategies it seem to appear that the strategies are diverse and significantly correlated with personal characteristics of emigrants. The intensity of emigration flows can be explained by classical theory but the results support the "New Economics of Migration" approach in the explanation of simultaneous return migration flows.

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Presented in Session 70: Recent and new migration flows