Micro- and Macro-Level Determinants of Emigration in a Mass Outmigration Setting: The Case of Lithuania

Sebastian Kluesener, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and Lithuanian Social Research Centre
Pavel Grigoriev, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Vlada Stankuniene, Institute for Social Research (ISR), Vilnius

This paper aims to improve our understanding how individual-level attributes and contextual socio-economic conditions relate to outmigration decisions in a mass outmigration setting. We focus on the East European country of Lithuania, which offers one of the rare cases where a country with relatively high standards in population statistics experiences massive outmigration. Between 2004 and 2012, Lithuania lost approximately 10% of its population due to international migration flows. In our study we apply multi-level models on census and vital registration data for the period 2011/2012. We find substantial spatial variation in emigration rates across Lithuanian municipalities. This variation is predominantly associated with variation in individual-level characteristics, while we obtained for our contextual socio-economic condition variables insignificant results. Our outcomes also suggest that Lithuania´s “geographies of opportunities” are particularly unfavorable for career-oriented females. In our conclusion we discuss implications of our findings for the development of cohesive migration policies in Lithuania.

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Presented in Session 192: International Migration