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Who stays, who goes, who returns?

  • Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln
  • Matthias Schündeln

We study the determinants of East-West migration within Germany during the period 1990-2006, using administrative data, the German Microcensus and the German Socio-Economic Panel. We find that in addition to income prospects and employment status, two well-known determinants of migration, psychological and social factors play an important role in determining the migration decision. Men and women move from East to West in proportionate numbers, but among individuals who lived in the East in 1989 women are more likely to migrate. The migrant body in the second wave of migration, starting in the late 1990s, is increasingly composed of young, educated people. By focusing on differences between temporary and permanent migrants, we find that older and single individuals are more likely to return East than stay permanently in the West, compared with younger and married individuals. Finally, the life satisfaction of permanent migrants increases significantly after a move, while that of temporary migrants remains essentially flat. Copyright (c) 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2009 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

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Article provided by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its journal Economics of Transition.

Volume (Year): 17 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 703-738

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Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:17:y:2009:i:4:p:703-738
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