Migration as an Adaptive Response to Nationalism in Contemporary Russia

Michelle L. O'Brien, University of Washington

In this paper, I argue that migration responses to push factors differ along ethnic lines. I examine this hypothesis using panel survey data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey, census data, and regional-level political data from Russia. I hypothesize that nationalist political parties send signals of anti-minority sentiment, which ethnic minorities interpret as threatening to their prospects in the region. This leads to a demand for an adaptive response, generating out-migration. I estimate an event history model and find that, although ethnic minorities do not demonstrate a higher propensity to migrate than the majority group, they do respond differently to political and economic push factors, in particular, to signals sent by nationalist parties.

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 Presented in Session P6. Migration and Urbanization/Population, Development, and the Environment