Welfare State, Social Stratification, Democracy and Emigration Intentions

According to the ‘new economics’ of migration, social stratification and social protection are important for emigration decisions and behaviour, but there is scarce evidence how welfare programmes independently correlate with emigration. The first part of the project uses the recent UNDP/UNICEF Social Exclusion Survey for two former Soviet republics of Moldova and Ukraine and two former Yugoslav Republics of Macedonia and Serbia and employs multivariate regressions techniques. It finds that social stratification in terms of occupational social class and subjective perception of well-being has statistically significant association with emigration; having social insurance correlates with lower propensity to leave the country, whereas the quality of jobs has significant effect on emigration intentions. The varying results between Balkan and former Soviet states suggest that the effect of welfare provisions depends on the macro context of emigration decisions.

The second part of the study tries to understand the modes of emigration from the South Caucasian countries and investigates new patterns emerging because of recent developments in the region. Since 2005, South Caucasian countries diverged in their socio-economic models of development, which are reflected in different covariates of emigration intentions in these societies. Using micro-level survey data from the Caucasus Barometer for 2009-2010, this paper looks at how various sets of variables associate with emigration intentions. We test a hypothesis that recent uneven economic and political developments are reflected in individuals’ intentions to leave these societies. Results indicate that, controlling for other covariates, political attitudes have significant associations with emigration intentions and the effect appears to be more important in Azerbaijan, while economic problems seem to be most relevant for emigration intentions from Georgia

Alexi Gugushvili

PhD Researcher at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, Visiting Researcher at the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

  • Topic of the paper:Welfare State, Social Stratification, Democracy and Emigration Intentions
  • Research interests:Intergenerational social mobility, welfare attitudes, social policies, life course, poverty, social exclusion and material deprivation
  • Email:Alexi.Gugushvili@EUI.eu