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Experiences in host countries and return plans : The Case of Highly-skilled Indians in Europe
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  1. Experiences in host countries and return plans: The Case of Highly-skilled Indians in Europe MetkaHercog, EPFL, Cooperation and Development Center metka.hercog@epfl.ch 6 December, 2012

  2. Motivation • Changes towardsskills-selective immigration policies in manydeveloped countries • Europe has emerged as a new player in the “global competition for talent”, competing with traditional countries of immigration for the brightest migrants (Papademetriou, 2003) • Empirical evidence that institutional settings matter whether a country is able to attract skilled foreigners (Docquier, Lohest, & Marfouk, 2006; Gross, 2006; Mayda, 2005) • Decision-making on return differentfromemigrationdecisions: migrants betterinformed about host and home countries (Grundel & Peters, 2008)

  3. Research question • What determines plans to return to the home country? • To what extent does the host country environment affect the choice of migrants to stay abroad or return to their home country?

  4. Research focus: new European destination countries

  5. New destination countries for Indian immigrants Figure 1: Immigration flow of Indian population in selected countries (2000-2011), Source: OECD.stat

  6. Opposing hypotheses • Return as an indication of integration failure Lack of economic and sociocultural integration in destination countries will have a positive effect on plans to return. • Return as a measure of success Migrants expected to return after sufficient human and financial capital has been accumulated abroad.

  7. Research design On-line survey“Skilled Indians abroad and development” (from June 2011 and April 2012) Population of interest: • Indian professionals and students currently residing in four destination countries: Germany, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland • Specialized in: ICT, Finance and Management, Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Academia • People who came directly from India • Excluding people who work at international organizations Purposive sampling: circulation of the survey among Indian student and alumni associations, Indian migrant organisations, professional and social networks sites, researchers of the research institutes and among friends and colleagues of the individuals contacted

  8. Survey response 841 respondents

  9. Return to the home country Plans for the next 5 years Stay in the host country Move to a third country Not sure yet

  10. Future plans: Reported plans for the following 5 years

  11. Satisfaction with living conditions(1-very bad to 5-very good)

  12. Satisfaction in destination countries and return plans(1-very bad to 5-very good)

  13. Dependent variable: plan to return to India in the following 5 years

  14. Findings • Return as an indication of economic success: Positive effect of education and income satisfaction on return intentions. • Return as an indication of failure in socioeconomic integration: Lack of sociocultural integration and dissatisfaction with communication possibilities in the host country have a strong positive effect on return plans.

  15. Lessons for European destination countries • Staying in European countries seen as much more temporary compared to staying in traditional immigration countries • Economic opportunities alone cannot foster the retention of skilled migrants • Importance of creating an attractive environment for professionals and their families • More attention should be paid to language issue

  16. Thank you for your attention