This is the first study to examine the poverty outcomes of international migration through comparisons of three family generations of ‘settler’ migrants spanning multiple destinations, with their returnee and stayer counterparts living in the country of origin. The study investigates group and generational differences in the extent and sources of monetary poverty, based on an adaptation of the resource-based model the author of this book developed originally to examine household responses to poverty (Eroğlu 2011, 2013). As well as tracing the generational trends, it examines and explains the degree of direct transmission on to younger generations of migrants and stayers. The research base for this book is the pioneering 2000 Families Survey, which a) locates male ancestors who moved from Turkey to Europe during the guest-worker years of 1964 to 1971 and their comparators who did not leave their origins, and b) charts their families in Turkey and Europe up to the fourth generation. The Survey led to the creation of the largest database on labour migration to Europe, currently deposited in GESIS (Ganzeboom et al 2016; Güveli et al 2016).
Drawing on this unique dataset, the book develops a multi-site and intergenerational viewpoint on migrant poverty with an aim to challenge the dominant thinking about international
Within this literature, far less research attention has been paid to the poverty of migrants and their descendants beyond their incomes, earnings, wages, benefit claims and educational, employment and occupational status, despite the fact that poverty offers a better standpoint for welfare/wellbeing than any other indicator that accounts for labour market participation or state transfers only. An analysis of migrant poverty provides a vantage point on welfare particularly by a) allowing a focus on those at the bottom of the income distribution, b) encapsulating all individuals independently of their relationship with the labour market and c) capturing the collective contribution of education, employment/occupation and benefits transfers to individual or household welfare (Kazemipur and Halli 2001; Galloway and Aaberge 2005). Also, when measured at the household level, poverty as a concept potentially provides a better representation of the resources accessible to the individual and their welfare outcomes (Picot et al 2008).
Intriguingly, despite its discernible advantages, poverty of international migrants remains understudied. Moreover, as documented in Chapter Two, the existing literature hardly examines the relationship between poverty and international migration from a multi-site perspective. There is, in fact, a small but growing body of multi-site research that connects destination and origin countries through migrant–stayer comparisons, including the studies undertaken by the 2000 Families Project Team. The body of works published thus far from the 2000 Families Survey seeks to disentangle the impact of international migration on occupational and educational attainment, self-employment, asset accumulation, marriage
Besides, the international migration literature seldom examines the poverty status of the younger generation(s) as compared with the older generation(s). None of the existing works are based on nested family design; they rarely use matched (that is, dyadic) parent–child information to link generations, and in rare cases where such a family link is established, the focus remains restricted to child poverty (Oropesa and Landale 1997; Van Hook et al 2004; Thomas 2011). Hence, until now, important questions about intergenerational transmission of migrant poverty have remained unexplored.
The existing literature predominantly approaches the relationship between poverty and international migration from an origin- or destination-based perspective (see Chapter Two for a full list of relevant citations). The origin-based studies examine the role of poverty in driving international migration or the poverty consequences of this process with a particular focus on the contribution of migrant remittances
Overall, the book makes a unique contribution to the international migration literature through the three major innovations it brings to the study of migrant poverty. Firstly, by taking a multi-site approach that allows the settler and return migrants to be compared with their stayer counterparts who did not leave their origins, it provides a rare insight into the economic (dis)benefits of international migration and the counterfactual question. Secondly, based on a nested survey design that charts family members of migrants and stayers up to the fourth generation, the book takes an unparalleled intergenerational perspective that allows an exploration of the generational trends in migrant poverty as well as its direct transmission from parents to their own children. Finally, unlike most quantitative studies on the topic, the book takes a theory-driven approach to understanding the root causes of migrant poverty by adapting the resource-based framework developed previously by the author (Eroğlu 2011, 2013) to the international migration context, and using it to inform the statistical models estimated. The new model represents the most comprehensive portrayal provided to date of the micro- and macro-level influences upon migrant poverty and their
The structure of this book is organised as follows. Chapter Two provides an overview of the previous findings about the incidence, persistence and sources of migrant poverty while positioning this body of research within the wider literature exploring the relationships between international migration, poverty and other welfare and performance indicators. Following a review of relevant concepts, theories and measurement methods, Chapter Three introduces the approach taken in this study to define and measure migrant poverty and explain its sources. Chapter Four outlines the key features of the target population and the sample, along with the research design and methods used for sampling, data collection and analysis. Chapter Five presents the results obtained from descriptive and multi-variable (probit) analyses of the Survey data as well as narrating the story behind. Chapter Six concludes with a discussion of their implications for theory, research and policy.