Circular Migration or Permanent Return: What Determines Different Forms of Migration?

Florin Vadean, Matloob Piracha
University of Kent, UK

This paper addresses the following questions: To what extent do the socio-economic characteristics of circular/repeat migrants differ from migrants who return permanently to the home country after their first trip (i.e. return migrants)? and What determines each of these distinctive temporary migration forms? Using Albanian household survey data and both a multinomial logit model and a maximum simulated likelihood (MSL) probit with two sequential selection equations, we find that education, gender, age, geographical location and the return reasons from the first migration trip significantly affect the choice of migration form. Compared to return migrants, circular migrants are more likely to be male, have primary education and originate from rural, less developed areas. Moreover, return migration seems to be determined by family reasons, a failed migration attempt but also by the fulfilment of a savings target.

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