Cultural proximity and migration: Evidence from multigenerational population registers on mother tongue
Using Finnish register data, this study assesses the role of cultural proximity in international migration. Finland has an ethnic minority of Swedish speakers, allowing us to proxy for different strengths of attachment to Finland across the population. We exploit information on individual and parental ethno-linguistic affiliation to identify Swedish and Finnish speakers with uniform and mixed backgrounds. Individuals with mixed backgrounds are particularly informative because they are bilingual but are raised in different communities. We find a gradient whereby Swedish speakers with a uniform background are the most likely to migrate, followed by individuals with mixed backgrounds. Finnish speakers with uniform backgrounds are the least likely to migrate. Among individuals with mixed backgrounds, international migration is more common for those living in predominantly Swedish-speaking municipalities. The patterns remain when controlling for parental and individual socioeconomic characteristics. These results underline that cultural proximity seems to play an important role in migration decisions.
Åbo Akademi University Foundation’s funding of the DemSwed Internal Centre of Excellence 2019-2024
Original titleCultural proximity and migration: Evidence from multigenerational population registers on mother tongue
Affiliation (institution of first SU-affiliated author)
- 310 Sociologiska institutionen | Department of Sociology