Czechs on the Move The Cumulative Causation Theory of Migration Revisited

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1 Czechs on the Move The Cumulative Causation Theory of Migration Revisited The Centennial Meeting of The Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia (USA), March Dušan Drbohlav Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Václav Toušek Masaryk University Brno, Faculty of Science, Geographical Institute,

2 Structure of the presentation: Background information a situation in the international migration field in the Czech Republic with special reference to circular labour migrants. The theory of cumulative causation basic ideas characterizing an original concept vis-a-vis modifications that could fit migration patterns in Central Europe. Empirical survey focusing upon testing the given theory. Conclusions.

3 Circular labour migration from Czechia Currently, there are no strong push factors that would propel mass migration movements of Czech citizens out of their home country. Currently, between 30,000 and 40,000 Czechs work legally abroad. Officially 10,913 citizens of former Czechoslovakia worked in Austria as of December The share of Slovaks is probably higher compared to Czechs. WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT? - theoretical importance - practical impacts in border zone areas - possible future development fears in Western Europe of being invaded by migrants from Central/Eastern Europe

4 CUMULATIVE CAUSATION THEORY G.Myrdal (1957) argues against the hypothesis about the automatic tendency for a social system to stabilize through change. By contrast, he argues that such a change brings about other changes that intensify in a particular direction the system becomes more polarized. The theory of cumulative causation argues that over time international migration tends to sustain itself in ways that make additional movement progressively more likely (Massey et al. 1993). Causation is cumulative in the sense that each act of migration alters the social context within which subsequent migration decisions are made, typically in ways that make additional movement more likely. Usually social scientists discuss the following ways that migration is affected in this cumulative fashion:

5 - expansion of networks, - distribution of income, - distribution of land, - organization of farm production, - culture of migration, - distribution of human capital, - social labelling.

6 THE THEORY OF CUMULATIVE CAUSATION: Original Concept - Settlement migration movements - emigration from within the entire country Modified Concept - Labour circular migration movements temporary migration from within border zone areas of a country - Migration movements between developed and developing worlds; mostly migrants from rural communities involved - Migration movements from generally more developed Central Europe postcommunist countries in transition to Western developed societies; not only rural population involved

7 THE THEORY OF CUMULATIVE CAUSATION: Original Concept expansion of networks, distribution of income, distribution of land, organization of farm production, culture of migration, distribution of human capital, social labelling. Modified Concept expansion of networks, distribution of income, culture of migration, distribution of human capital, social labelling.

8 THE THEORY OF CUMULATIVE CAUSATION: Moreover, stress is further put on analysing migrants (pendlers ) behaviour in their mother country in terms of: 1) Structure of migrants expenses 2) Migrants -entrepreneurs strategies 3) Migrants potential future migration movements

9 Research questions and hypotheses Does the given migration trigger other migration movements? Do the following aspects also contribute to making additional movements more likely?: expansion of networks, distribution of income, culture of migration, distribution of human capital, social labelling.

10 Hypotheses (Massey et al. 1998) 1) Expansion of networks due to the expansion of networks the migration will grow (relatives and friends will follow the migrants ). 2) Distribution of income people are motivated to migrate not only to increase their absolute income, but also to improve their income relative to other households in their reference group. 3) Culture of migration at the community level, migration becomes deeply ingrained into the repertoire of people s behaviour, values associated with migration become part of community s values migration becomes a rite of passage. There is an impact upon migration behaviour of other people in a community to stimulate rather than discourage migration movements within the community. 4) Distribution of human capital Migration is a selective process that often tends, initially, at least, to draw relatively well-educated skilled people away from sending communities there is the depletion of human capital in sending regions and its accumulation in receiving areas.

11 Hypotheses 5) Social labelling within receiving societies, once immigrants have been recruited into particular occupations in significant numbers, those jobs become culturally labelled as immigrants jobs and native workers are reluctant to fill them there is a process of stigmatization. 6) Structure of migrants expenses more spent for consumption rather then investing in productive goods/services 7) Migrants -entrepreneurs strategies rather limited 8) Migrants potential future migration movements generally a high probability to migrate

12 Methods A questionnaire survey (funded by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic 205/02/0321) carried out in two border zone districts bordering on Austria in South Moravia Břeclav and Znojmo May 2003 Altogether 145 circular labour migrants successfully contacted by geography students (105 have been circulating during the survey, 40 circulated before this period but not later than 5 years before the survey) Respondents found mostly via mayors and contacted in their houses/apartments, sometimes identified through other local VIP persons (e.g. in pubs) Those who worked in Austria as illegals/irregular migrants often refused to answer the questions

13

14 Selected Results - Males 77%, Females 23% - Age: % % % 60+ 6% - Family status: Married 70% Single 22% Divorced 8% Educational level: Basic 8% Vocational training 62% Secondary 28% University 3% Religion: Christians 36% Atheists 63% Number of household members: 1 6% 2 16% 3 18% 4 41% 5+ 19%

15 Selected Results Former experience of working abroad: 12% (59% Germany, 12% Austria) 44% started circulating/commuting across the state border: between , 12% between Last circular labour migration between their home and: Lower Austria 64%, Vienna 35% The length of circulating/commuting: up to 1 year 19%, between 1-5 years 40%, 6-10 years 15%, % 98% used a car 56% commuted daily, 40% weekly 28% spent less than 1 hour by commuting, 49% spent between 1-2 hours

16 Selected Results 41% commuted alone, 57% with their friends or acquiantances Reasons for the circulation: to make money 65%, losing their job in the Czech Republic 12% In Austria, worked in: construction 33%, agriculture 16%, services (restaurants) 15% Those working in non-skilled jobs 19%, some training necessary 28%, vocational training necessary 41%, highly qualified - 6% The type of work corresponded to their qualification level 62% Average salary per hour in Austria: between Czech crowns 5%, %, %, %

17 Selected Results Gains resulting from circulation financial benefits 80%, getting experience 9% Losses resulting from circulation losing a free time 19%, related family problems 12%, (65% did not answer)

18 Chi-square test measuring selected important aspects closely tied to the cumulative causation theory (N 145), results shown only where relationship is confirmed, p= <0.05 Using money made abroad in Czechia by a respondent versus: Time period when a respondent started circulating Length of circulation Fact whether a respondent mediated a job abroad for another person Family status Type of work performed in the Czech Republic

19 Chi-square test measuring selected important aspects closely tied to the cumulative causation theory (N 145), results shown only where relationship is confirmed, p= <0.05 Persons by citizenship with whom a respondent mostly worked abroad versus: With whom a respondent commuted across the border A type of branch in which a respondent worked in Austria Average salary per hour Feelings regarding working abroad (inferior versus equal vis-a-vis majority population) Sex Religion

20 Chi-square test measuring selected important aspects closely tied to the cumulative causation theory (N 145), results shown only where relationship is confirmed, p= <0.05 Changing relations with neighbours in relation to respondent s commuting across the border versus: A type of branch in which a respondent worked in Austria Feelings regarding working abroad (inferior versus equal vis-a-vis majority population) Agreement with accession of Czechia to the EU

21 Results vis-a-vis the theory 1) Expansion of networks due to the expansion of networks the migration will grow (relatives and friends will follow the migrants). NO: The other way round, the circular labour migration from Czechia abroad has been decreasing. It can be documented on the example of Czech- German movements: - whereas in the beginning of the 1990s about 50,000 Czechs worked in Germany (including irregulars and commuters within the border zone qualified estimate) it can be perhaps smaller than 10,000 now. In Czechia: increasing living standard over time, more opportunities to do a business, mentality..

22 Results vis-a-vis the theory 2) Distribution of income people are motivated to migrate not only to increase their absolute income, but also to improve their income relative to other households in their reference group. YES and NO: 28% proclaimed that relations with their neighbours changed due to circulating (93% - now relations are worse), 72% had no such feelings.

23 Results vis-a-vis the theory 3) Culture of migration at the community level, migration becomes deeply ingrained into the repertoire of people s behaviour, values associated with migration become part of community s values migration becomes a rite of passage. YES: (but rather a limited size, a limited group of would-be migrants) 48% think that their circulation inspired other people from the community to circulate too. 72% want to continue to circulate after joining the EU (May 1, % in a form of circulating again).

24 Results vis-a-vis the theory 4) Distribution of human capital Migration is a selective process that often tends, initially, at least, to draw relatively well-educated skilled people away from sending communities there is the depletion of human capital in sending regions and its accumulation in receiving areas. NO: Mainly unqualified are involved basic school 8%, vocational training 62%. Furthermore, they do tend to only circulate, not to settle down in the destination country (see above).

25 Results vis-a-vis the theory 5) Social labelling within receiving societies, once immigrants have been recruited into particular occupations in significant numbers, those jobs become culturally labelled as immigrants jobs and native workers are reluctant to fill them there is a process of stigmatization. Partly YES but also NO: 10% released that they worked in Austria mostly with Czechs, 28% with other foreigners. However, other 20% told us that they work mostly with Austrians and other 39% with Czechs and Austrians.

26 Results vis-a-vis the theory 6) Structure of migrants expenses more spent for consumption rather then investing to productive goods/services YES: Housing 40%, housing plus car 21%, car 8%, etc. versus investment into doing a business 5%, savings 5%.

27 Results vis-a-vis the theory 7) Migrants -entrepreneurs strategies rather limited YES: Since circulating, only 4% has created some new jobs (14 in absolute terms).

28 Results vis-a-vis the theory 8) Migrants potential future migration movements generally a high probability to migrate YES and NO 72% want to continue to circulate after joining the EU (May 1, % in a form of circulating again not to settle down!). Only 1% are going to migrate (for sure) from their current place of residence in Czechia, 8% consider such a movement.

29 Conclusions The results respect limits of the survey, namely: - rather a small number of respondents (N=145), - no probability sampling methods, - a limited regional picture only two districts in South Moravia. Despite these limitations results characterizing important patterns of the circular labour migration in the Czech Republic were gained. The theory of cumulative causation brings important insights into the migration and related social processes. It offers important, more general reference points for juxtaposing research results to its postulates. However, the theory needs to be more specified, more elaborated upon. For example, while implicitly often speaking about the permanent migration, it also works with repeating movements thus indicating a possibility of taking into account the circular labour migration as well.

30 Conclusions It does not differentiate between various types of players involved (various socioeconomic, geographical and political settings in countries of origin and destination). Apparently, the theory, originally focused upon migration movements between the developed and developing worlds, cannot be directly applied to migration movements (including related social realities) that do exist between more developed and most developed worlds (Central/Eastern Europe versus Western Europe). Some basic parametres /aspects must be changed or reshaped. Even after partly adjusting the theory, the results are ambiguous. If theoretical postulates are proven, they often do not contribute to stimulating movements (as would be expected).

31 Conclusions What is clear is that results (after applying to the circular labour migration from South Bohemia to Austria) do not support a main postulate that the migration triggers further migration movements.

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