Moroccans' selection into return migration from different European destinations. Merging datasets as a strategy for testing return migration theories

Tatiana Eremenko, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED) and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Studies suggest that the phenomenon of international migration is becoming more widespread, but also changing in nature with individuals’ migration patterns becoming more complex. As a result analyses of determinants of international migration can no longer be limited to the first move (emigration), but need to include ensuing moves such as return or onward migrations. This study focuses on Moroccan migrants, with special attention to those who ever migrated to France, Spain and Italy, and their selection into return. While most studies focus either on migrants already having returned or intentions of current migrants (each of these approaches having distinct research objectives, but also presenting specific limitations such as having no reference population or no information on actual behaviour), this study develops a new methodology of merging surveys in both origin and destination countries in order to study selection into return while capturing both populations at the same time. Combining information from datasets on return migrants in Morocco (ETF2012) and current migrants in Europe (TeO2008, NIS2007 and Intregrometro2008), we first describe the characteristics of each group, followed by regression models on selection into return to Morocco. Our results suggest a lower probability of return for female migrants, and a positive selection into return in terms of educational level. Limitations of data and potentialities of data merging in other migratory contexts to better understand more complex migration trajectories are discussed at length.

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Presented in Session 74: New directions in migration measurement