IZA DP No. 4142: Temporary Labour Migration and Welfare at the New European Fringe: A Comparison of Five Eastern European Countries
substantially revised version published as 'Labour Migration from Eastern Europe and the EU’s Quest for Talents' in: Journal of Common Market Studies, 2014, 52 (2), 183-199
This paper investigates patterns and determinants of temporary labour migration in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine after EU enlargement in 2004. Migration incidence, destination choices and migration determinants differ between poorer and better-off countries. Although broadly in line with general results from the migration literature, we observe some peculiarities like the high share of older migrants and a modest role of family obligations in the migration decision process. We find no indication of a brain drain related to temporary migration in sending regions as the educational background of migrants is rather low. Migration is used as household insurance against unemployment and is associated with lower incidence of poverty. This finding remains robust when attempting to reduce the potential omitted variable bias with an instrumental variable approach.