Why Do People Migrate?

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Labour Market Security and Migration Decisions



Table of contents

(8 chapters)

The introduction contains the main hypotheses and research questions as well as an answer to the question why the topic raised in the monograph allows for a better understanding of the process governing migration-related decision-making, and in this way assists in projecting migration policies. The principal hypotheses and research questions are based on the search for an answer to the following question: to what extent labour market security, which can be provided in various ways, influences both the decision to emigrate and the choice of a particular destination country. All the publication’s chapters are summarised in the introduction.


The main purpose of the chapter is to explain the impact of labour market security on migration-related decisions, especially in terms of push-pull factors theory. There are different ways to understand work-related security; the chapter discusses the importance of job security, employment security and income security from labour migration perspective. The article presents the existing body of literature on theoretical concepts as well as on some methodological facets of the measurements of the level of particular aspects of work-related security. Special attention is paid to labour migrants in terms of their working conditions in both sending and receiving countries. An overview of previous migration studies proves that the issue of migrants’ labour market security was not the subject of any in-depth analyses. There are, however, many examples of research showing that, under certain conditions, migration decisions are influenced by, among others, the generosity of a welfare state, stability of job and the desire to achieve the so-called normal life. In the case of migrants from third countries (e.g. from Ukraine), income security is of particular importance alongside remuneration.


The aim of the chapter is a comparative analysis of the level of labour market security in four countries representing different social models: the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Ukraine. For this purpose, Eurostat, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Social Survey (ESS) and European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) data were used. They allowed to show significant differences which occurred in 2004–2017 in the situation of the employees in the analysed countries. The analysis showed that employees in both the United Kingdom and Germany are characterised by a relatively high level of labour market security, but such security is provided in two different ways – in the former country employment security is more important, while job security prevails in the latter. Despite a significant improvement in employment conditions in Poland and Ukraine, the objective and subjective situation of employees there remains much worse than is the case in Germany and the United Kingdom. All the differences between the studied countries confirm the thesis regarding the flows of migrant workers seeking a satisfactory level of labour market security.


The main aim of this chapter is to analyse the impact of labour market security on contemporary Polish labour migrants’ choices and perceptions of their destination countries. Qualitative and quantitative empirical data were used to explain the differences between two main states enjoying popularity as destination countries for the migrants from Poland: the United Kingdom and Germany. The concepts of Varieties of Capitalism and of social models were used to explain differences between the analysed countries. Presented data confirm that some of the migrants choose countries where they can accomplish labour market security through job security (i.e. Germany), while others find their way better in countries where the model based on employment security is favoured (i.e. the United Kingdom). Special attention was also paid to Ukrainian workers in Poland, who prefer some elements of employment security alongside income security.


This chapter summarises the results of empirical research with regard to the shaping up of migration policies in given countries. At the same time recommendations are developed for the migration policies of particular states in the context of labour market security. Regulations introduced in the migration policy and labour law may influence the profiles of immigrants who will arrive in a particular labour market. In Chapter 2, perspectives are presented: that of the immigrants and that of the state. In the former case, the issue of labour market security is presented as the factor behind individual migration-related decisions and the choice of a particular destination country. In the latter case, i.e., the perspective of the state, the issue of labour market security is an element of migration policy based on selection of immigrants depending on the demand from the economy and on the model of immigration preferred by a given country.


The chapter summarises the monograph by presenting its results achieved and refers in particular to labour market security as an element of making a migration-related decision and the choice of a destination country. In addition, particular areas are indicated which require further research, especially those concerning adequacy of the currently functioning social models in the context of migration-related challenges and the role of trade unions.

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