Poverty and International Migration: A Multi-Site and Intergenerational Perspective
This is a presentation of the results from the first ever study performed to examine the poverty impact of international migration from an intergenerational and multi-site perspective. It specifically investigates the extent and sources of monetary poverty experienced by three family generations of migrants from Turkey to Western Europe, as compared with their stayer counterparts who remained in Turkey. The research base for this study is the pioneering 2000 Families Survey, which developed and used an innovative screening technique a) to locate the first generation men who moved to Europe from high migrant-sending regions in Turkey during the guest-worker years of 1961 to 1974 and those who stayed behind, and b) to chart their families across Turkey and Europe up to the fourth generation. The data is drawn from 5980 personal interviews with adults randomly selected from 1770 families.
The study shows that across all destinations and generations, migrants currently living in Western Europe (i.e. ‘settlers’) experience monetary poverty to a greater extent than those who remained in Turkey (i.e. ‘stayers’) or who moved back to their origins (i.e. returnees). Contrary to the returnees and like the stayers, the settlers also turned out to be unsuccessful at breaking the transmission of poverty across family generations. The study examines the reasons as to why the migration process has not proved as economically beneficial for the settlers as it has been for the returnees.