Tackling Germany’s demographic skills shortage: permanent settlement intentions of the recent wave of labour migrants

Andreas Ette, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Barbara Heß, Federal Office for Migration and Refugees
Lenore Sauer, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

Confronted with structural demographic challenges, European countries have adopted new labour migration policies during the last decade. The sustainability of these new policies is largely dependent on the intentions of migrants to stay in their new country of destination with a permanent or at least long-term perspective. Despite this growing dependence on additional skilled labour migrants very little information exists about the dynamics of this new wave of migration and existing research findings with their focus on earlier migrant generations are hardly applicable today. The article comparatively tests major theoretical approaches accounting for permanent settlement intentions of Germany’s most recent labour migrants on the basis of a new administrative data set. Although the recent wave of labour migrants is on average a privileged group concerning their human capital, fundamentally different mechanisms are shaping their future migration intentions. Whereas economic factors determine temporary stays of a creative class profiting from the opportunities offered by an increasingly international labour market, socio-cultural and institutional factors shape permanent settlement intentions of migrants.

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Presented in Session 84: Migration intentions of immigrants and natives