The tipping point in migration: from intention to realisation. The influence of migration-related expectations and life-course events on migration intentions and the realization of these intentions

Irén Gödri, Demographic Research Institute, Budapest
Erzsebet Toth, Independent Researcher

Even though exploration of changes in intensity and destination of migration intentions became possible by the research on migration potential, there are still numerous unanswered questions. On the one hand, it is unknown in what degree and in case of whom measured migration intentions are really realised. On the other hand, the questions of factors influencing the emergence of migration intentions and their realisation also need to be clarified. In our paper we aim at answering these questions. The panel study “Turning Points of Life Course – Transylvania”, conducted by the Demographic Research Institute (Budapest) and the Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities (Kolozsvár/Cluj), constitutes an unique possibility for the study of realisation of migration intentions. Its first wave was conducted in 2006 with a sample of 2,942 ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, aged between 20-45 years. The second wave took place in 2009, when 1,900 respondents of the first wave were reached and further 600 people’s residence was recorded on address cards. The migration intentions were measured by standard questions: they asked whether the respondent plans short or long term employment abroad or emigration. Based on the data of the second wave proportion of realisation of migration intentions can be revealed, together with factors promoting or hindering their realisation. The paper aims at revealing the role of migration-related expectations (considerations of its advantages and disadvantages), and of life-course events in the emergence of migration intentions, furthermore it considers their role in their realisation. Socio-demographic variables and capital variables will be also taking into consideration. We hypothesise that human capital (young age, high educational attainment, knowledge of foreign language, former migration experience), financial capital (appropriate income, good financial standing) together with social capital (member of household in the potential destination country) increases the realisation chance of migration intentions.

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Presented in Poster Session 1