Return migration can boost self-employment in Georgia

Return migrants tend to come home with greater financial and human capital. Savings accumulated abroad can be used as a resource for working on their own account. Growing evidence from the literature suggests that return migrants tend to be self-employed or establish their own businesses (De Vreyer et al., 2010; Ammassari, 2004). Figure 4.4 compares the employment status of non-migrants and return migrants. While the share of economically non-active individuals is considerably lower for return migrants than non-migrants, return migrants are more likely to be unemployed. Looking at the employed population, return migrants are more likely to be self-employed than non-migrants.

Figure 4.4. A higher share of return migrants are self-employed than non-migrants

Employment status among adult non-migrants and return migrants (%)

Note: The difference in the distribution of employment statuses between non-migrants and return migrants is statistically significant (99% significance level, using a chi-squared test).

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

Sta.tLink^^2 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933457868

Could it be that return migrants were already self-employed prior to their migration or did they choose migration as a strategy to set up a business or to become self-employed? Figure 4.5 compares the employment status of return migrants before their emigration and after their return. As with current emigrants, more than half of return migrants were unemployed before emigrating. The share of unemployment decreases remarkably after their return.

Some of them have left the labour market while others are employed in the private sector or are self-employed.

Figure 4.5. Return migrants are more likely to be self-employed than when they left

Employment status among return migrants before leaving and after return (%)

Source: Authors’ own work based on IPPMD data.

StatLYnk-*^^» http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933457878

 
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