Labor outflows from Albania in the light of the New Economics of Labor Migration
LABOR OUTFLOWSFROM ALBANIAIn the light of the New Economics of Labor MigrationMarcin SenderskiUniversity of WarsawFaculty of Economic SciencesPresented: 22 January 2010
A poor family is considered to be one that does not have a member who can emigrate abroad. A respondent from the town of Gramshi De Soto H., Gordon P., Gedeshi I., Sinoimeri Z., Poverty in Albania. A Qualitative Assessment, 2002.
Introduction with timelines Migration flows and their determinants Brain drain and other consequences for the sending country Remittance flows Migration networks Theorization attempt and conclusions
No political, lawful (and even criminal) aspects, both for the sending and the receiving countries No deep insight into temporary migration and internal migration which are also remarkable No insight into impacts for the receiving countries
Before 1944, to the USA and some Latin American states. Economic push factors responsible. Between 1945-1990, political factors responsible, also emigration of quislings, serious institutional barriers, so-called ‘embassy migrants’. After 1990, most significant, in the 1990s absence of governmental control of migration flows.
1990, July 2: Migrants’ Day. Issuing of passports was liberalized. 1991: the boat exodus to Italy and the paralell mass migration to Greece. 1993-1996: migration stabilizes as the economy grows. 1997: mass migration following the ‘pyramid crisis’. 1999: emigration following the Kosovo crisis. 2000 onwards: relative stability and consolidation of emigrant communities abroad.
In the early 1990s (…) Albania quickly became the country with the highest migration outflow in Europe, when measured in terms of the ratio of migrants to overall population. Albanias migration flow has (…) been five times higher than the average migration flow in developing countries. Barjaba K., Albania: Looking Beyound Borders, August 2004
PUSH FACTORS PULL FACTORS Poverty A will to experience an Unemployment outside world (especially Scarce access to medical among young people in the care early 1990s: ‘Hello Europe, Also extraordinary factors: I hope to find you well’ 1997 collapse of various attitude) financial pyramids, other Educational motivations shocks Satisfying career interests
Migrants are younger than their counterparts who remained in Albania Migrants are predominantly men Households with migrants are bigger in size. However, in the effect of migration, they become significantly smaller Migrant households are by far older, following the migration of the younger members The access to a well-established network is a powerful determinant favoring migration Households with no migrants have a higher incidence of poverty (inverse causality?) Educational levels and occupational profiles are similar
Geographical, cultural and linguistic proximity most important. Italy and Greece in the 1990s, also Western European countries (Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom). Nowadays, USA and Canada more popular among the educated.
Studies show that once abroad, many highly educated emigrants do not work in their areas of specialization, including 74 percent in Greece, 67 percent in Italy, 58 percent in Austria, and 70 percent in the United States. (…) Albanias ‘brain drain’ is emerging as ‘brain waste’. Barjaba K., Albania: Looking Beyound Borders, August 2004
Official estimates make remittances the largest source of foreign exchange, greater than the combined value of exports and foreign direct investment and constituting 14 percent of GDP. International Monetary Fund, 2002. Trade deficit amounts to more than 20% of GDP per year (2006). Vullnetari J., Albanian Migration and Development: State of the Art Review, September 2007, p. 72.
Relationship to the head %Spouse / partner 4Son / daughter 55Sister / brother 25Other 12Institution 3Given the weakness of Albania’s banking system,remittances are mainly sent to the country throughinformal channels. The tendency to transfer moneythrough banks has increased only in recent years,because of banking sector reforms and the decrease ofemigrants’ visits to their families in Albania.
Objective %No specific use 37Basic necessities 33Purchase of durable goods 12Medical expenses 9Others 9The amounts sent are higher for households in ruralareas and increase with the distance of remitters.Remittances are of a significantly higher amountwhen specifically destined to fund investment(business or dwelling renovation) or the purchase ofdurable goods.
Considered moving abroad? Yes NoNumber of observations 2730 7411Percentage 27 73Why not? %Does not want to 31Too difficult 30No need 24Too costly 9Other 6Tried to move and failed? %Yes 44No 56
Since every fifth Albanian lives abroad, almost one half of all Albanian households have access to migration networks. They serve as a catalyst for the migration of family members of network migrants as well as community members at the point of origin.
Decision to migrate is a joint household decision (costs and benefits shared, coinsurance possible) Relative deprivation (more important than the absolute wage differentials) Migration networks as a catalyst for the migration Migrants typically earn less
Main characteristics of Albanian migration An important constituent of coping strategy Both permanent and temporary (do not appear to be complements), but long-term if permanent Inspired by push factors The existence of migration network and previous experience with migration are key determinants as well Remittances not improving the situation of domestic economy Inhabitants of Tirana are less likely to migrate internationally
Azzarri C., Carletto C., Modeling Migration Dynamics in Albania: A Hazard Function Approach, 2009 Barjaba K., Albania: Looking Beyond Borders, August 2004 Barjaba K., Migration and Ethnicity in Albania: Synergies and Interdependencies, 2004 Carletto C., Davis B., Stampini M., Trento S., Zezza A., Internal Mobility and International Migration in Albania, June 2004 Çaro E., van Wissen L.J.G., Migration in the Albania of the post-1990s: triggered by post-communist transformations and facilitator of socio-demographic changes, 2007 Vullnetari J., Albanian Migration and Development: State of the Art Review, September 2007
Central and Eastern European Online Library, www.ceeol.com Development Research Centre on Migration, Globalization & Poverty, www.migrationdrc.org Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, www.fao.org Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, University of Amsterdam, www.imiscoe.org Migration Policy Institute, www.migrationinformation.org Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, www.oecd.org The World Bank, www.worldbank.org Watson Institute for International Studies, www.watsoninstitute.org
Thank you for your attention Marcin Senderskimsenderski@student.uw.edu.pl