Artículo

LET’S MOVE ON! MOTIVES FOR MIGRATION AMONG SPANISH YOUNG ADULTS IN GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND THE UK

The uneven effects of the economic crisis have changed international migration within Europe, giving shape to new patterns and forms of mobility. The decline in east-west mobility and the rise of return migration have coincided with a new wave of labour migration from Southern to Northern Europe driven by countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, that have been severely affected by the recession. Although these emerging patterns have attracted considerable media and policy attention, little is known about such migration processes. This paper attempts to fill this gap by exploring the experiences and trajectories of Spanish who have left the country since the onset of the crisis. Our qualitative approach is based on 48 semi-structured interviews to men and women with different educational and occupational backgrounds. Specifically, we investigate the causes and motives for migration of young adults Spaniards who have migrated to Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Theoretically, we assume that migration is the result of complex decision making procedures in which a set of economic, social and institutional factors lies behind the decision to migrate. Against this background, we examine whether economic motives –unemployment, job insecurity or better job prospects- have played a dominant role in the decision to migrate. Alternatively, we consider whether social and cultural factors were more important drivers of mobility. We also analyse whether migration motives can be differentiated regarding gender and educational background. Finally, we scrutinize how migration decisions are imbedded in the meso-level and structured by the macro-level. 
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