Self-Selection into Circular Migration: Evidence from linked Finnish and Swedish Register Data
Circular migration in a setting of free mobility has received increasing attention among policy makers. However, to date we know relatively little about the mechanisms underlying circular migration. In this paper, we try to fill the gap in the literature by analysing circular migration between Finland and Sweden using unique linked register data. The data set covers the years 1987-2005 and provides information on individuals in Finland and Sweden, thus allowing us to follow migrants across national borders. We use event history analysis to assess (1) the effect of previous migration experience on the likelihood to circulate and (2) migrants’ self-selection into circular migration by gender, social and human capital. Our study shows that the probability of moving again increases with every move. Moreover, selection into circular migration resembles that of the first emigration and return. Selection into emigrations differs from returns, even when migrants have moved multiple times.