Journal Article

Determinants of residence and migration in the Soviet Union after World War 2: the immigrant population in Estonia

Kulu, H.
Environment and Planning A, 36:2, 305–325 (2004)


Soviet migration literature stresses the importance both of the interests of people and of state policy in shaping the migration process in the Soviet Union. However, most empirical studies are descriptive and rely on bivariate analysis; multivariate analysis is scarcely used. Conventional Western research, in turn, mostly stresses the importance of structural factors in explaining migration in the Soviet Union. The author aims to look at the extent to which structural factors and personal characteristics determine the first residence and first migration of immigrants in Estonia after World War 2. Individual-level data of the Estonian Family and Fertility Survey (1994) on 1067 foreign-born females are used and multivariate analysis applied. The analysis shows that the first residence and first migration of the foreign-born population in Estonia differ significantly by immigration cohort -- a variable reflecting structural factors. However, when the personal characteristics of immigrants are included in the model, the role of the immigration cohort (as a determinant of migration) decreases significantly. The results support the belief that migration in the Soviet Union is a complex outcome of the interaction between structural forces and the interests of people, as it is elsewhere in the world.
Keywords: Estonia, Soviet Union, event history analysis, migration determinants, multivariate analysis, residence
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