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Familiar Faces, Familiar Places: The role of family networks and previous experience for Albanian migrants

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Author Info

  • Gero Carletto

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Benjamin Davis

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Marco Stampini

Abstract

Using data from the 2003 Albania Panel Survey, the paper sets out to achieve two main objectives. First, we fully characterize the evolution of Albanian international migration since the fall of Communism in 1990. We distinguish between permanent and temporary migration, and between the two principal destinations, Greece and Italy. Second, we explore, using multivariate analysis, what individual, household and community level factors influence the current decision to migrate internationally, focusing on the role of previous personal experience and family networks. We find evidence of important changes over time in the pull and push factors that drive migration flows. While early on in the transition political and economic factors were predominant, over time personal experience and household migration networks assumed a fundamental role, facilitating growth in migration even in times of the relatively stable economic conditions. Other individual, household, and community factors have an important role in the decision to migrate, and these factors vary by type of migration and destination. Furthermore, the spatial configuration of migration is also changing: both temporary and permanent migration are expanding into new parts of the country. The results have important policy implications. First, policies aimed at controlling migration are likely to be less effective where networks have already developed or where engrained patterns of repeat migration are established. Second, despite increasing legality, migration, particularly for newcomers, is still difficult, risky and often illegal, which fosters a climate of exploitation and abuse. Third, we find that highly educated individuals have a higher propensity to migrate permanently, which constitutes a serious potential risk in terms of brain drain.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 05-03.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0503

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Related research

Keywords: Albania; Families; Migration; Population dynamics; Rural urban migration; Social groups; Sociology; Urban rural migration;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mauro Migotto & Benjamin Davis & Gero Carletto & Kathleen Beegle, 2005. "Measuring Food Security Using Respondents’ Perception of Food Consumption Adequacy," Working Papers 05-10, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  2. Azzarri, Carlo & Carletto, Calogero & Davis, Benjamin & Zezza, Alberto, 2006. "Choosing to Migrate or Migrating to Choose: Migration and Labor Choice in Albania," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25538, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. World Bank, 2007. "Albania - Urban Growth, Migration and Poverty Reduction : A Poverty Assessment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7659, The World Bank.

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