Emigration Intentions : Mere Words or True Plans? Explaining International Migration Intentions and Behavior
Do people follow up on their intentions? In this paper we confront the emigration intentions formed by inhabitants of the Netherlands during the year 2004-2005 and the emigration steps they took in the subsequent two years. Three results stand out. First, it appears that intentions are good predictors of future emigration: 24 percent of those who had stated an intention to emigrate have actually emigrated within two years time. Second, within the group of potential emigrants, those who have emigrated and those who have not yet emigrated, do not differ much from each other. The potential emigrants who have not yet emigrated are in poorer health. Third, the forces that trigger emigration intentions are also the same forces that make people actually move.
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