Article

A Country on the Move: International Migration in Post‐Communist Albania1

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Abstract

Albania is a country on the move. This mobility plays a key role in household-level strategies to cope with the economic hardship of transition. With the relaxing of controls on emigration at the beginning of the 1990s, international migration has exploded, becoming the single most important political, social, and economic phenomenon in post-communist Albania. Based on the 1989 and 2001 population censuses we estimate that over 600,000 Albanians live abroad, mostly in nearby Greece and Italy, with the vast majority coming from a limited number of districts located at the coastal and transport gateways to these destination countries, as well as Tirana. The available data also suggest that a similar number have considered migrating, and of these, half have tried and failed. Almost one-half of the children who since 1990 no longer live with their parents are now living abroad, a number of almost exodus proportions. This article also identifies clear patterns of temporary migration, with Greece being by far the most important destination and rural areas from the Center and North-East of the country being the primary origins of these flows. Although migration, with the resulting remittances, has become an indispensable part of Albanian economic development, there is increasing consensus on the necessity to devise more appropriate, sustainable strategies to lift households out of poverty and promote the country's growth.

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... Immigration has reached the point where 8.4% of Greece's official population are now foreigners (nearly 912,000 people, according to the 2011 national census [HelStat 2011]), of whom it is estimated that more than 250,000 are undocumented (Triantafyllidou 2013). Although the past ten years or so have seen growing numbers of immigrants from Africa and Southeast Asia, the majority (72.2%) of the foreigners living in Greece are immigrants from the former state-socialist countries, especially Albania (Nicholson 2004;Carletto et al. 2006). Indeed, according to the 2011 census, more than half of all immigrants-or some 480,000 people-in the country are Albanians (HelStat 2011). ...
... Among explanations of this recent transition in Greece's demographic history, it is clear that geographical proximity is certainly one central factor that has facilitated the massive in-migration from the former state-socialist Balkan countries (Fakiolas and King 1998;Mai et al. 2005;King and Mai 2008). However, the easy and inexpensive access to the country for immigrants has, in turn, been connected to other important pull factors, mainly the relatively low costs of living (at least as compared with some other parts of the European Union [EU]) and the availability in the receiving localities (at least before the 2009 economic recession) of employment that is mostly atypical (i.e., temporary, part-time, seasonal, hourly-waged, and self-employment) and/ or informal (i.e., either full-or part-time unofficial working agreements that are not institutionalized and that often allow workers and employers to evade paying income and social security taxes) (Carletto et al. 2006;Psimmenos and Kassimati 2006;HMPI 2008). ...
... In other words, the already large group of foreign workers facing atypical and risky working conditions, many of whom are excluded from basic social security provisions, such as unemployment benefits, has greatly expanded since the crisis started. Significantly, such a high share of informal and precarious immigrant workers undermines the potential positive outcomes expected from the regularization initiatives that have been implemented by the Greek parliament over the past fifteen years, as immigrants cannot retain their "documented" status when informally employed (King 2005;HMPI 2006;Carletto et al. 2006;Cavounidis 2006;Iosifides et al. 2007;Kasimis 2008).9 ...
Article
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The concept of “flexicurity” (encouraging flexible work arrangements while also ensuring various social protections for workers) has been much lauded in recent years within the European Union. This paper examines how practices of flexicurity are working for immigrant workers living in Preveza, a prefecture located within the Greek region of Epirus on the border with Albania. In doing so, it highlights possible interconnections between immigrants, whether documented or not, and atypical and informal employment in peripheral urban and rural localities. The paper draws upon data collected during 2008 as part of research conducted for Preveza’s local government as well as a follow-up study on flexicurity and immigrants conducted in 2011. Other data sources, such as the list of migrants holding official residence and work permits and the national census, are also used. All of these sources offer valuable insights into the precarious employment status of immigrants in contemporary Greece, highlighting the extensive presence of flexible employment with few security provisions and informal employment. Finally, the paper concludes with some remarks on policy relating to the European Union’s flexicurity agenda and migration in Southern Europe.
... Albania's unemployment rate is significantly higher than that of neighboring European Union members Greece and Italy, while the per capita income is approximately ninety percent lower than in those countries (De Soto et al., 2002). In addition to considerable gaps in earnings and unemployment between Albania and its two EU neighbors, exposure during the communist period is an important pull factor for the migrants from Albania Carletto et al., 2006). Many Albanians in the south of the country have historic ties to Greece and speak Greek at home. ...
... 3 Castaldo et al. (2005 use data on intentions to migrate, which may not be a good indicator of actual future migration, and is limited to those who had not already migrated by 2002. Filer (2009), Carletto et al. (2005), Carletto et al. (2006) and Stampini et al. (2008) use surveys that only contain data on migrants who have left no household members behind. The sample in Arrehag et al. (2006) is limited to one district in Albania characterized by very high out-migration rates while the sample analyzed by Germenji and Swinnen (2005) consists of rural households only. ...
... Such visa relaxation would also lead to an increase in the migration of relatively better educated Albanians. Past evidence suggests that more educated workers (with better options in Albania itself) are less willing to migrate illegally and subsequently be forced to work in the irregular economy upon arrival in the destination country (Labrianidis and Lyberaki, 2004;Labrianidis and Kazazi, 2006;Carletto et al., 2005Carletto et al., , 2006Stampini et al., 2008). Thus, an EU visa policy change could have implications for the potential brain drain from Albania. ...
... The period from 1988 to 2000 captures a volatile time of the rapid change from socialist regime to a market economy in 1990, associated with radical agriculture land distribution reform in 1991 that changed agricultural land ownership from cooperatives to private (Cungu and Swinnen, 1999). This time was also C h a p t e r 1 | 3 characterized by high migration from rural to urban areas, as well as migration abroad (Calogero et al., 2006;King, 2005), and paved the way for the post-socialist forest reform that The choice of the two periods permitted us to infer forest cover change processes since the collapse of socialism, as well as for almost two decades of post-socialist developments in Albania and the splitting up of Kosovo from the former Yugoslavia. It was hypothesized that forest cover changes was particularly linked to political and institutional changes, regional development disparities, and outmigration of the rural population. ...
... Albania and Kosovo have experienced high outmigration of population from rural to urban areas as well as abroad(Calogero et al., 2006; United Nations Development Program of Kosovo, 2004), which could mean less pressure to forests and allow forests to regrow. The post-socialism reform of agriculture in 1992 was associated with the refuse of marginalized and non-high quality agricultural land in Albania (the WorldBank, 2002). ...
Thesis
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Forests are important resources for local livelihoods and the economy. Forest cover can be significantly affected by changes in institutional and political framework conditions such as induced by the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe and the war in Kosovo. This study analyzed the determinants of changes in forest cover for two periods between 1988 and 2007 for Albania and Kosovo. The method used in this thesis included Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) that served to identify the local pattern and processes of forest cover change. Pressures on forest from subsistence extraction of wood decreased in the second period when deforestation was observed in larger distance from roads and populated areas. The determinant of distance to nearest human settlement showed high local variations in their relationships with forest cover change. A strong negative influence was particularly evident in the northern and northeastern regions in Albania and the northern and southern in Kosovo in the second period. This research contributed important country-evidence to the literature on the patterns and processes of the post-socialist forest cover change. This thesis is composed of two themes: forest change modelling and species distribution modelling. This publication is available at: http://digital.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/urn/urn:nbn:de:gbv:3:4-11489
... According to the Italian authorities, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 undocumented migrants were smuggled from Albania to Italy in the 1990s, including approximately 100,000 Albanian women (Limanowska, 2002). Shortly afterwards, the United Kingdom appeared in the picture (Carletto, 2006). Salt and Stein (1997) suggest that there are three phases in irregular migration processes, namely exit, transit, and entry. ...
... As with many other people around the Mediterranean region, Albanians have a long history of migration (Carletto, 2006;Vullnetari, 2007). During the Ottoman period there was an important tradition called kurbet, meaning ''journeying far in order to support the family back home'' (King, 2005: 134). ...
Article
The authors studied the entrepreneurial culture among Albanian smugglers and traffickers using 43 Albanian judicial files in Belgium from 1995–2005. They analyse the niches that these “entrepreneurs” created as well as the way they invested profits. The authors also analyse the personal agency of the smuggled and trafficked clients, and practices that may help to explain the specific entrepreneurial culture. Short comparisons are made with other ethnic criminal groups engaged in similar activities during the same period in Belgium.
... Yet the role played by social processes and spatial inequalities in development in the course of the mobility transition remains under-appreciated. We test this model in the case of Albania, which has experienced a rapid catch up in urbanization and large-scale emigration since the end of communist rule in 1990 (Carletto et al. 2006;Lerch 2014). We focus on how the spatio-temporal diffusion of rural-to-urban and international migrations has been mediated by the economic and political hierarchy of cities, and by the gendered patterns and interlinkages of the two flows. ...
... Albanian migration developed in three phases alongside a discontinuous transition in the social system (Carletto et al. 2006;Caro 2011;King and Vullnerati 2012;Vullnerati 2007). In the first phase (1990)(1991)(1992)(1993)(1994)(1995) characterized by anarchy during the collapse of the communist regime, there was a development of internal movements from poor and peripheral regions toward the main economic centers. ...
Article
Full-text available
The interactions between the processes of urbanization and international migration in less developed and transition countries have important repercussions for socioeconomic development, but are not well understood. Based on the retrospective data from the Albanian Living Standards Measurement Survey 2008, we first assess the geography of migration in terms of the rural–urban continuum, the urban hierarchy and the outside world since 1990. We then investigate the spatio-temporal diffusion of rural-to-urban and international movements using survival models. Results reveal an immediate onset of large-scale rural exodus, despite the post-communist crisis. Internal migrants mainly moved to the capital, bypassing secondary cities, and were predominantly female. Initially, international migrants were primarily men who tended to originate from the main urban agglomerations. The diffusion of opportunities to emigrate down the urban hierarchy and across the sexes then redirected the rural exodus abroad, despite domestic economic development. This evolution in population mobility is related to the gendered patterns and interlinkages of the two flows, as well as to rising inequalities within the urban hierarchy.
... During the first decade of transition to democracy and a market economy, Albanians experienced social upheavals alongside economic crises. The much higher living standards in Western Europe constituted a major incentive to move abroad to find a new livelihood (Carletto et al. 2006;King and Vullnetari 2003). More than 60 % of inhabitants intended to leave the country in 1992 (Papaganos and Sanfey 2001). ...
... This is particularly pertinent in patrilocal societies, in which strong and hierarchical family bonds are crucial vectors of behavioural control. Moreover, kinship structures provided access to migration in Albania (Carletto et al. 2006), and the success of migratory projects often rests on the support of and cooperation within the family (Stark and Bloom 1985), which may be ensured by stable social roles. In other words, migration appears to have strengthened the moral primacy of patriarchy in Albanian sending families, which in turn maintained the status quo in the reproductive sphere. ...
Article
Our knowledge of the interactions between international migration and fertility in sending countries is biased towards family members left behind, who constitute a minority and decreasing share of populations. We assess the potential for emigrants’ social diffusion of low fertility into Albania and investigate how family behaviours are affected by indirect exposure to migration within the sending society, using data from multiple survey rounds. Effects arising from direct exposure within the family had a limited importance. Marriages were postponed and marital fertility was reduced because of the transformation of the larger social context, as indicated by the importance of community migrant networks and by women’s increased aspirations, which are induced by the perception of the prospects and benefits of migration in the society at large. The effects of emigration on the fertility transition seem therefore to be independent of periodic fluctuations in population flows and their associated economic benefits.
... With only limited investment sources, most rural agricultural production remains subsistent, smallscale, and fragmented, leaving rural farm households trapped in poverty (MPI, 2015). As a result, many rural Albanians seek alternative income sources by diversifying into a portfolio of nonfarm income-generating activities, including strategic migration of household members inside and outside the country (Carletto, Davis, Stampini, & Zezza, 2006;Kilic et al., 2009). Table 1 provides an overview of recent economic and demographic trends in Albania. ...
... The migration and demographic variables in Table 1 illustrate that international migration has been on the rise since the 1990s, with most migrating to Greece and Italy (Carletto et al., 2006). Migrant flows are primarily from the rural areas of Albania, as reflected by the continuous decrease in rural population in post-communist Albania. ...
Article
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Many agricultural households in developing countries depend on international migration and nonfarm work to cope with the economic risks and uncertainty associated with farming. We examine the effects of international migration and remittances on rural households’ participation in nonfarm jobs and the earnings generated from these jobs. Using data on agricultural households in Albania, results indicate that remittances received from migrant household members induce reallocation of household labor to nonfarm self-employment jobs, and increase income from at-home farming. Overall, international migration contributes to rural development in Albania through the positive impact of remittances on households’ ability to diversify income and reduce income risks associated with farming
... Population migration (especially external) is an ambiguous process that has positive and negative implications for both the donor country and the recipient country. This point has been argued by Carletto et al. (2006), Erdal and Lewicki (2016), Vollmer and Malynovska (2016) and others. The positive effects are the growth of labour supply and equalization of demographic and social labour imbalances, an increase in migration mobility and development of intellectual and human capital, growth of incomes, and expansion of investment potential to support the social and economic development of depressed areas. ...
Article
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Population migration activity in the Carpathian region of Ukraine is currently high in intensity and scale compared to the national average. This situation is caused by subjective factors (lower living standards and quality of life, employment problems, escalation of armed conflict in the east) and objective factors (globalization and increasing population mobility, development of transnational corporations, digitalization of the economy, simplification of border-crossing procedures). The aim of the research is to model and visualize the impact of population migration on the social and economic development of the Carpathian region of Ukraine and to determine an optimal value and critical range of external migration for the region. Based on the modelling, assuming that socio-economic development of the Carpathian region corresponds to the level of integral coefficient for Poland in 2018 (calculated using a multiplicative approach), the acceptable level of external migration was determined. It is 0.850 for Lviv region (actual migration level was 1.479 in 2018); 0.653 for Chernivtsi region (0.695); and 1.488 for Zakarpattya region (2.149). The critical range of the intensity of external population migration is 0.723–1.264 for Lviv region, 0.499–0.578 for Chernivtsi region, 0.006–0.008 for Ivano Frankivsk region, and 0.479–0.769 for Zakarpattya region.
... Migration, especially international migration to Greece and Italy, has been on the rise since the 1990s (Carletto et al. 2006). A continuous decrease in rural population in postcommunist Albania signals that migrant flows are primarily from the rural areas of Albania (World Bank 2015). ...
Article
This study is the first to analyze the combined effects of off-farm incomes from a variety of sources—local wage employment, local self-employment, and migrant remittances—on detailed food consumption patterns. A food demand model that incorporates incomes from different sources and household demographics is developed to fit rural Albanian household data. Findings indicate that increases in off-farm wage income increases food consumed at-home and away-from-home. Cereal-based staples consumed at home increase with increased off-farm wage income and decrease with increased remittances. Food consumption patterns are not affected by self-employment income. Findings have implications for improving dietary conditions in rural households.
... "Country on the move" (Carletto et al 2006 ), "laboratory for the study of migration and development" (King 2005), 'new migration order" (Van Hear 1998), 'significant and unique case" (Vulnerati 2007) -numerous are the metaphors and definitions with which scholars try to capture the uniqueness of the country, which after long decades of pathological closeness is now unstoppably headed towards migration. "Migration is one of the most important social and economic phenomena affecting Albania. ...
Article
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The objective of the article is to scrutunize the Balkan migration phenomenon, highlightening the alloy between continuity and discontinuity in the explanation of migrations; the former expressed in the trends, the latter - in breakthroughs, ruptures, changes. Four periods are articulated and characterized through the major trends. The typology of Balkan migrations identifies ten types, classified in three larger categories. The article distinguishes and compares the national migration models and draws a panoramic picture of the major trends during the last quarter of a century.
... Greece is the principal host country of Albanian immigrants. More than 430,000 Albanian immigrants were legally registered in the population census of 2001 (National Statistical Service of Greece, 2007), while in the second most important host country, Italy, only 164,000 were registered (Bonifazi and Sabatino 2003), and only some tens of thousands in all other countries, (Carletto et al. 2006). In 2006, the number of Albanian immigrants rose to 482,000, that is to say, 69.2 % of all foreign citizens in Greece (Hellenic Statistical Authority 2006). ...
Article
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The paper investigates the annual inflow of legal immigrants in Greece the last 6 years, 2007–2012, on the basis of the demand of Greek employers for seasonal immigrant labor in provenance from non European Union countries. This process is determined by the new legislative framework described by the Law 3386/2005 on the entrance, accommodation and social integration of third country nationals in the Greek territory. Every year Greek authorities determine the maximum number of residence and work permits that will be given to non EU immigrants. Permits concern mainly seasonal jobs and are provided basically to Albanian workers. Local needs for work determine the number of immigrants on the local level. Local demand is expressed through prefectures, (Greece is divided administratively in 54 prefectures). The local needs determine the national demand, and therefore the annual inflow, for legal economic immigrants from non EU countries. Some prefectures in the North of Greece concentrate the majority of this immigrant population. The paper analyses the evolution of this demand during the crisis period and tries to investigate if the economic crisis and especially unemployment influenced this evolution. The analysis is based on a prefectural level because it permits a more qualitative approach of the evolution since we can have a more specific result.
... Albania is a "country on the move," where since 1990 almost a quarter of the population has emigrated in addition to a large-rural-urban migration. 51 Demographic imbalance is a serious issue. Equally serious is socio-economic imbalance: the level of remittances is three times higher than direct foreign investment and nearly twice as much as the help that comes from international sources. ...
Chapter
In a span of just a few years in the early 1990s, South East Europe (SEE) produced the largest migration waves in Europe since the Second World War. From a total population of 80 million, 10 million migrated or were displaced because of wars, ethnic cleansing, and/or poverty. The explosive character of the mixture of migration, violence, ethnicity, religion, state building, and redrawing of borders transformed the Balkans into a major security concern for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU).
... Population migrated from other regions towards Tirana. Population change in the urban area of Tirana was between 12% and 60% from 1989 to 2011 because Tirana was a key industrial, administrative and cultural center in Albania[30](see also literature on migration of Albanians[31,32]). The increase of vehicle numbers could have contributed to the change in the traffic flow rate and to noise patterns[see e.g. ...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing human population and the increasing number of vehicles in Tirana, Albania, emerges the need for extensive measurements of noise levels. The 831 measurements of noise levels were taken in Tirana in November 2015 for education purposes. Measurements were collected in eight locations in indoor like a classroom in a school building environment, a library and a healthcare facility and in outdoor environments like five crossroads. Noise levels were then compared with domestic and World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The logarithmic average of noise levels and the maximum value of noise level measured for the period of measurement (LAFmax) were interpolated using Interpolated Noise Levels for Observer Points in ArcGIS producing noise level maps for crossroads. The logarithmic average of noise levels and LAFmax measurements were respectively above domestic and WHO standards in 96% and 100% of outdoor environment and indoor environment locations. Interpolated values of logarithmic average of noise levels and LAFmax for five crossroads were above domestic and WHO standards indicating noise levels in road traffic could remain high. A yearly acoustic measurement for vehicles should be implemented. Participatory measurements of noise levels in quite indoor environments can be used to increase the awareness of inhabitants in Tirana.
... The collapse of the communist regime triggered mass migration, the contours and scale of which have been described in a now-extensive literature (for overviews, see Carletto et al. 2006;INSTAT 2004a;King, Mai, and Schwandner-Sievers 2005;Vullnetari 2007Vullnetari , 2012. For 2010, the 'stock' of Albanians abroad (including foreign-born children) was estimated at 1.43 million by the World Bank (2011,54). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the interrelationships between gender, family structures and intra-family care arrangements during two markedly different periods of Albania's recent history. The first of these, the communist era, was dominated by the autocratic state-socialist regime of Enver Hoxha. In contrast, the post-communist period that followed was characterised by a kind of reactive free-for-all capitalism and high rates of both internal and international migration, the latter mostly to Greece and Italy. Families have been torn apart by this mass emigration, resulting in husbands separated from their wives and children, and older generations left behind by their migrant children. All this contrasts with family, residential and care arrangements during the communist period when not only were families generally living in close proximity, but also state welfare was available to support vulnerable and isolated individuals. Across these periods, however, the burden of care responsibilities fell almost wholly on women, despite the egalitarian ideology of the socialist era and the potentially modernising and empowering effects of post-socialist migration on the agency of women. The article provides a valuable lesson in historicising regimes of gender, family and care across dramatically contrasting social models.
... Although research on Albanian migration has a long been discussed by migration scholars (King and Vullnetari 2003;Carletto, Davis et al. 2006 )few studies attempt to grasp in detail the return migration process and reintegration strategies of returnees, especially from a gender perspective. The contribution of this study was to look at the gendered trajectories or return, reintegration and remigration of Albanian returnees. ...
Article
The aim of this research paper is three fold: (1) to shed some light on the struggles Albanian return migrants are facing in their psycho-social, cultural and labor market reintegration in the origin country, looking as well to the gendered trajectories of return and re-emigration(2) to highlight their gendered strategies in transferring back in their home country their financial, social and human capital;(3) to better understand the dynamic paths of their migration trajectories and finally (4) to push policy makers to put with high priority the returnees reintegration plan into the policy agenda. We base our analyze on 42 life stories of Albanian migrants, from which, 12 interviews with return migrants from Greece, 30 migrants that are actually in Greece (from which 50% have at least made an 1 attempt to return in Albania and 5 are circular migrants).The study found that: many Albanian migrants return to Albania to stay either temporary or permanently with the idea of investing in home country, though not all of them who return stay in Albania. Returnees and at a greater degree women, face lot struggles and difficulties in their psycho-social, cultural and economic reintegration upon their return, which make them mentally and psychologically vulnerable. Women experienced a sense of disempowerment, reconfiguration and re-traditionalisation of gender relationships upon their return. Labor market integration seem more problematic especially for returned women who faced a gendered gap in labor force participation . Moreover, despite migrant willingness to invest their financial and social remittances in Albania by bringing new ideas in the labor market trend, they experience a sense of disillusion. Therefore, having no support system back home, remaining jobless and in many cases failing in their investment endeavors, make returnees consider further re-emigration as a surviving strategy. This study suggest that it is time for policy makers to compile with high priority and with a gender lens analysis a new National Migration Strategy and Return Reintegration strategy, while developing concrete and coherent measures upon returnees successful reintegration in the home country. This policy research brings at the policy agenda an holistic and multidisciplinary approach to returnee reintegration through better multi- level/stakeholder collaboration and dialogue.
... Fifth and among the most important, bad economic, aggressive and rural infrastructure situation throughout the communist regime as well as the collapse of this economy after the fall of this regime created a massive wave of internal migration, projected over a period of more than 20 years with certain dynamics. More concretely "the main pushing factors of internal migration are linked to the economic situation especially to persisting poverty, low income prospects, poor access to public utilities, unemployment and insufficient agricultural land" (Carletto et al., 2006). Of all the cities, mainly Tirana, was the most attractive pole for these urban residents. ...
Article
Full-text available
After the 1990s, with the recognition of a number of rights denied during the communist regime, such as free movement, there was a large movement of internal migration from rural areas to large urban areas, especially towards the city of Tirana. A number of factors, mainly economic and social factors, favored this massive population movement from rural areas to urban areas. Almost complete disintegration of the economic base in rural areas, as well as infrastructure shortages, have pushed large numbers of population into urban areas, especially towards the periphery, across migration flows. On the other hand, enormous rural migration not only redefined the physical boundaries of the city but also produced new social and economic forms. As a result of interaction and confrontation of the social and cultural mentalities between rural and urban population (the case of Tirana) emerged several phenomena that created a clear demarcation area under the cultural and social aspects, as well as semi-rural or semiurban hybrid interaction. In this perspective, this essay attempts to use a multidisciplinary approach to explain the general factors of this massive internal migration but also some aspects of the newly-formed landscape of social and cultural mentalities after this migration. As a result of this cultural interaction, we attempt to understand the reality of various subcultures in the city of Tirana and social behaviors in order to clarify the effects of this process regarding the dilemma on the ruralization of the urban or urbanization of the rural population.
... Since the fall of communism, the Albanian economy has been growing; Albania's real GDP grew by 3.8% in 2017, up from 3.4% in 2016 (World Bank, 2018). This is in spite of significant male out-migration to labor markets in Greece and Italy over the past two and half decade, resulting in large remittance inflows, further, fueling Albania's economic growth and development (Carletto et al., 2006). Albania's economic expansion and its significant male-dominated international migration have had significant impact on the employment opportunities of women. ...
... The collapse of the communist regime triggered mass migration, the contours and scale of which have been described in a now-extensive literature (for overviews see Carletto et al. 2006;INSTAT 2004a;King, Mai, and Schwandner-Sievers 2005;Vullnetari 2007Vullnetari , 2012. ...
Article
Full-text available
Washing men's feet': gender, care and migration in Albania during and after communism This article compares the interrelationships between gender, family structures and intra-family care arrangements during two markedly different periods of Albania's recent history. The first of these, the communist era, was dominated by the autocratic state-socialist regime of Enver Hoxha. In contrast, the post-communist period that followed was characterised by a kind of reactive free-for-all capitalism and high rates of both internal and international migration, the latter mostly to Greece and Italy. Families have been torn apart by this mass emigration, resulting in husbands separated from their wives and children, and older generations left behind by their migrant children. All this contrasts with family, residential and care arrangements during the communist period when not only were families generally living in close proximity, but also state welfare was available to support vulnerable and isolated individuals. Across these periods, however, the burden of care responsibilities fell almost wholly on women, despite the egalitarian ideology of the socialist era and the potentially modernising and empowering effects of post-socialist migration on the agency of women. The article provides a valuable lesson in historicising regimes of gender, family and care across dramatically contrasting social models.
... After the fall of the communist regime, international migration became a common phenomenon in Albania. Studies by King and Vullnetari (2003), Vullnetari (2007), Barjaba (2000), Barjaba and King (2005), Carletto et al. (2006), identify 4 different episodes of migration flows during the period 1990-1999. The first episode is linked directly to the summer of 1990, when about 20,000 Albanians left the country. ...
Article
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Based on a survey which was conducted during January 2012, this study, aims to find out the main consequences of the current economic crisis on Albanian households and the effect they have had on migration decision. The target groups of the analysis are young students, who are considering the possibility of studying abroad and students/professionals who are currently studying/working abroad or who have studied/worked abroad and now have returned to Albania. The content of the survey addresses issues related to income level, family background, employment possibilities, level of salaries, working conditions, social environment, and public policies. The conclusions of the study are that the most important effects of the economic crisis are the reduction of the rewards from work and the decline of quality of life. As the effects of the crises affect the migration decision of Albania and thus the future patterns of migration, identifying push and pull factors of migration is crucial for future macroeconomic and social stability.
... Small wonder, then, that when the borders were open (at least on the Albanian side), an emigration of epic, if chaotic and unregistered, proportions took place, especially across the mountainous land border with Greece. Internally too, Albania became "a country on the move"; with the pent-up frustration of forced immobility removed, people were free to relocate from remote highland areas with poor living conditions to Tirana, the capital, and to other major towns (Carletto et al., 2006;Vullnetari, 2012). ...
... Unlike for developed countries, remittances are expected to have a greater influence on developing countries, yet the impacts on economic growth and inequality might depend on their final destination (Carletto et al., 2006;Dominese et al., 2020;Duval & Wolff, 2016). A study provided by Karpestam (2012) shows that the purpose of remittances depends on the income level of the receiving countries, which is consequently oriented towards consumption or investment. ...
Article
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Hardly any studies have investigated the impact of migrant remittances on economic growth (EG) and inequality in the Western Balkans as a whole (WB6). Using the method of instrumental variables (VI), the findings show that while remittances influence economic growth, their inflow also promotes a high level of migration and absorbs a large workforce by influencing the labor market and encouraging uncontrolled individual relocation. This paper also reveals that although remittances have eased income inequalities the share of remittances in a country’s economy has declined over the years. After testing for the endogeneity of remittances and controlling for various variables, the results indicate that migrant workers’ remittances do not provide strong support for economic growth and inequality. For the sample average, a 1-percent rise in the share of remittances in the economy (i.e., to GDP) will lead to a 0.10-percent rise in the economic cycle i.e. GDP growth, respectively will lead to a 0.05-percent drop in the share of people living in inequality. The findings also show that the interactive effect of remittances and foreign direct investment is lower on economic growth and inequality than the individual effect of each factor.
... Albansko iskustvo emigracije bilo je epsko, od 1990. godine je zovu zemlja u pokretu (Carletto, Davis, Stampini, & Zezza, 2006), tako da je do 2013. godine broj Albanaca koji žive u inostranstvu (1.264.200 ...
Article
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Typology of the reasons for migration, dominated by forced migration (mainly wars) and labor migration, intensified by the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Massive migration periods are: the Roman period (less documented), Middle Ages (XIV-XV century); period between the Albanian national revival and independence; periods during world wars and the period after the fall of Communism (1990). While migrations tipizohen today because of work and living better. Varies according to geography and world developments, especially regional developments (Balkan Mediterranean).Characteristics of today's migration are becoming almost universal. Accurate statistical estimates are difficult (from 150 thousand to 500 thousand) because of its complex integrations, sources of social organizations and illegal migration in certain periods. Selection of emigration countries related to geographical proximity (Greece, Italy); cultural and linguistic proximity; historical ties; economic developments; accessability; regulatory incentives to migration policies, making phenomenon spontaneous and problematic since to the country of origin up to the destination. Referring to official statistics 95% of immigrants are located in Europe. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n2p441
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Using data from eight focus groups and two household surveys conducted in the cities of Tirana, Albania and Quito, Ecuador, this paper finds that migration from at least one parent has a negative impact on the life satisfaction of children and adolescents left behind relative to that of children and adolescents who live with both parents who have never migrated. The results of this paper suggest that the impact of migration goes beyond traditional ones (e.g. remittances), which is useful for understanding how different components of international migration in general, and parental migration in particular, relate to outcomes that not only affect the full development prospects of children and adolescents, but also have important implications for policy initiatives that seek to address both the positive and negative impacts of migration on sending countries.
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Scholars of sending countries emphasise the role of economics in shaping state policies towards emigration. They argue sending states are converging around a set of discursive strategies that aim to facilitate the influx of remittances from emigrants. One such strategy uses discourses of cultural nationalism to celebrate emigrants as ‘heroes’ of the nation. Drawing on a state-sponsored media campaign and ethnographic data, I found the Ukrainian state does the opposite. It stigmatises its emigrants to both Italy and the USA as ‘prostitutes’ and ‘defectors’, respectively. However emigrants are differentially stigmatised. Emigrants to the USA are simply dismissed, but the Ukrainian state constructs migration to Italy as a shameful social problem. It does this even though emigrants to Italy send back significantly more remittances. Economic interests cannot explain Ukrainian state practices towards emigration. Instead, in the context of post-Soviet transformation, I suggest the Ukrainian state has prioritised the construction of a national identity. The state then constructs policy with an eye to cultural rather than economic outcomes. I argue the Ukrainian state actively stigmatises the migration to Italy because it poses challenges to the nation-building process, whereas the migration to the USA is peripheral to this key state concern.
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This essay is an attempt to chart recent developments in the field of Modern Greek Studies, focusing on shifting perceptions regarding Islam and Muslims. To do so, the essay positions the relevant literature in its historical context, touching upon both accomplishments and limitations. Its main proposition is that the Greek case is distinct yet connected to contemporary global contingencies and broader long-term regional dynamics. Athens remains the only European capital without a mosque. Moreover, despite recent academic endeavors, there exists today no coherent Greek field of Islamic Studies. That these absences have been brought recently under political and academic scrutiny constitutes, however, a noteworthy change. Most important, the traditional exclusion of Islam from the field of Modern Greek Studies does not suggest lack of relevance between the two but, quite to the contrary, reveals a set of loaded and complex socieconomic, geopolitical, and historical links that deserve to be studied in their own right.
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This thesis studies the metalinguistic phonotactic knowledge in Albanian heritage speakers whose dominant language is Greek, aiming to discover whether phonotactics in a heritage language can be incompletely acquired and/or attrited. To this end, a group of Albanian heritage speakers who were raised in Greece and a control group of Albanian immigrants who moved to Greece in adulthood participated in a three-consonant word-internal cluster syllabification task. The great variability in the results of both groups suggests incomplete acquisition of heritage phonotactics by heritage speakers, as well as some degree of attrition in the first-generation Albanian immigrants. I propose that this variability can be due to the use of Multiple Parallel Grammars (Kiparsky, 1993; Anttila, 2002a, 2002b; Anttila and Cho, 1998; Revithiadou and Tzakosta 2004a, 2004b; Tzakosta, 2004, among others), which is indicative of incomplete acquisition and non-native ultimate attainment in the phonotactic knowledge of heritage speakers, while the use of Multiple Parallel Grammars by first generation immigrants can suggest attrition of first language phonotactics.
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The unique opening up of a previously closed society in post-communist Albania was utilized to investigate the motivations for and impacts of emigration across geographically close but economically diverse borders. As would be anticipated, labor flows were very large across all segments of society. There is, however, extensive evidence that these flows may have significantly improved life for those who remained behind. The consequences of Albania's accession and those of similarly affected countries in the European Union is discussed.
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The intention of this paper is to shed some light on the mode of organization of the Albanian immigration in Greece. Firstly we intend to maintain a hypothesis of a non-communitarian organization of this particular migration. For this purpose we explore the Albanians' social networks. Then, we make a second assumption: their diffusion. in the urban space as well as the absence of any ethnic infrastructure suggest a spatial invisibility of the Albanians in the Greek city. Exploring the example of Thessaloniki, the second largest Greek city after Athens, we will maintain that Albanians' non-communitarian social insertion is reflected in the urban space: despite their large numbers in Thessaloniki, there is no evidence of any ethnicized district.
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This chapter analyses the effect of cultural differences among ethnic groups on the remittance behaviour of native and immigrant households in Canada. In contrast to the New Economic of Labour Migration (NELM) literature that examines remittance motivation in the framework of extended family agreements, we embed remittances in a formal demand system, suggesting that they represent expenditures on social relations with relatives and/or friends and contribute to membership in social/religious organisations respectively. The results indicate strong ethnic group cultural differences in the remittance behaviour of recent Asian immigrant households and highlight the importance of differentiating with respect to cultural background when analysing the determinants of remittances.
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This article provides a detailed review of the ethnosurvey, a research methodology that has been widely applied to the study of migration for almost four decades. We focus on the application of ethnosurvey methods in Mexico and Poland, drawing on studies done in the former country since the early 1980s and in the latter since the early 1990s (including several post-2004 examples). The second case is particularly relevant for our analysis as it refers to a number of novel migration forms that have been identified in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-1989 transition period. Drawing these studies, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of the ethnosurvey as a research tool for studying international migration. Its advantages include its multilevel design, its blend of qualitative and quantitative methods, its reliance on retrospective life histories, and its multisite data collection strategy. These features yield a rich database that has enabled researchers to capture circular, irregular, short-term, and sequential movements. Its disadvantages primarily stem from its hybrid sampling strategy, which necessarily places limits on estimation and generalizability, and the technical challenges of parallel sampling in communities of both origin and destination. Here we argue that the ethnosurvey was never proposed and should not be taken as a universal methodology applicable in all circumstances. Rather it represents a specialized tool that when correctly applied under the right conditions can be extremely useful in revealing the social and economic mechanisms that underlie human mobility, thus yielding a fuller understanding of international migration's complex causes and diverse consequences in both sending and receiving societies.
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Over the last 20 years, Albania has experienced sweeping economic and social changes, caused in part by increasing internal and international migration flows. Migration trajectories of Albanians represent a combination of internal, international, and return migration. Whereas scholars have previously focused mainly on international migration, the current research explores the dynamics between internal and international migration. Typically, the internal migration of a family is supported, psychologically and financially, by the international migration of other household members. This paper reports on the influence that social and economic remittances have on the livelihoods of internal migrants. Using an ethnographic approach, financial and social remittances were shown to improve internal migrants' quality of life, assisting their adjustment process. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This article surveys contemporary theories of international migration in order to illuminate their leading propositions, assumptions, and hypotheses. It hopes to pave the way for a systematic empirical evaluation of their guiding tenets. The authors divide the theories conceptually into those advanced to explain the initiation of international migration and those put forth to account for the persistence of migration across space and time. Because they are specified at such different levels of analysis, the theories are not inherently logically inconsistent. The task of selecting between theories and propositions thus becomes an empirical exercise, one that must occur before a truly integrated theoretical framework can be fully realized. -Authors
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Official estimates of migrants’ remittances are around US$100 billion annually, with some 60 per cent going to developing countries. Any policy making use of migrants as a development resource must understand the size and allocation of remittances, and the roles played by migrants and their communities in the remittance process. This paper examines the flows of remittances in relation to other financial flows to developing countries. The examination is based on data available from official statistics. As discussed in the paper, remittances by unofficial channels are significant by all accounts so the remittance amounts reported here are quite conservative.
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This paper investigates the impact of international migration on technical efficiency, resource allocation and income from agricultural production of family farming in Albania. The results suggest that migration is used by rural households as a pathway out of agriculture: migration is negatively associated with both labour and non-labour input allocation in agriculture, while no significant differences can be detected in terms of farm technical efficiency or agricultural income. Whether the rapid demographic changes in rural areas triggered by massive migration, possibly combined with propitious land and rural development policies, will ultimately produce the conditions for a more viable, high-return agriculture attracting larger investments remains to be seen.
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This paper investigates the impact of international migration on technical efficiency, resource allocation and income from agricultural production of family farming in Albania. The results suggest that migration is used by rural households as a pathway out of agriculture: migration is negatively associated with both labour and non-labour input allocation in agriculture, while no significant differences can be detected in terms of farm technical efficiency or agricultural income. Whether the rapid demographic changes in rural areas triggered by massive migration, possibly combined with propitious land and rural development policies, will ultimately produce the conditions for a more viable, high-return agriculture attracting larger investments remains to be seen.
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This paper analyses recent patterns of migration and poverty in Albania, a country that - following the collapse of the communist regime in 1990 – has been experiencing high migration rates. Using a combination of survey and census data, the paper characterises spatial patterns in the distribution of poverty and migration at a high level of geographic disaggregation. The results emphasise the importance of analysing internal and international migration as different phenomena, as the two appear to be associated in opposite ways to observed poverty and welfare levels. While poverty acts as a push factor for internal migration, it seems to be a constraining factor for the more costly international migration. The results also suggest that rural migration to urban areas contributes to the relocation of poverty in urban areas.
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This qualitative assessment of poverty in Albania seeks to deepen the understanding of poverty in the country, first, by involving poor Albanians in a process of exploring the causes, nature, extent of poverty, and how it affects their livelihoods. Second, it is intended to support the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). Third, it supports preparation of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), and the Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) process. Fourth, it supports ongoing research on formal and informal institutions in the country that are relevant to poverty, and it identifies as well, emerging areas of concern. Findings suggest that poverty in the study sites, developed as a result of a weak economic base at the beginning of reform (as of 1990), worsened as the reforms continued and accelerated during the 1997 financial crisis. From household interviews, it is perceived that the causes of poverty are a result of unemployment, insufficient and low quality of land, absence of formal institutions, and marketing mechanisms to support industrial and agricultural development, and the government ' s inability to respond to infrastructure and basic needs. The study further examines the factors depressing and/or precluding (sector wide) the potential to compete, sustain livelihoods, attain employment, and receive economic and social assistance.
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Emigration from Albania since 1990 has been the most dramatic instance of post-Cold War East-West migration. Now, more than one in five Albanians lives abroad, mainly in Italy and Greece, and the first part of the paper presents statistical documentation on the evolution of the Albanian migration to Italy, including migrants' regional distribution within the country. Eschewing simplistic mono-causal geographic, political or economic explanations of the Albanian mass migration, the remainder of the paper essays a more rounded analysis by setting the exodus to Italy within the nexus of political, economic, social and cultural events that were happening in each of the countries, and whose timing and interconnections are crucial in understanding the dynamics of this migration and its reception and interpretation. We focus particularly on the role of the Italian media in constructing a series of myths- about Italy (projected as the "promised land" by Italian television to Albania both before and after the demise of the communist regime), about Albania (constructed as a backward, exotic, chaotic country), and about Albanian immigrants (represented as "undesirables", deviants and potential criminals). Above all, we analyse how Albania and Albanian immigrants in Italy have evolved as a pervasive "myth of the other", against which Italy's own self-identity as a modern, efficient European nation has been reconstructed. However, in a final ironic twist, it is also the case that Albanian immigrants are seen as present-day mirrors to Italy's own developmental and migratory past.
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Drawing on secondary sources - statistical data and published surveys - the article offers a detailed overview of Albanian migration to Italy since 1990. The paper addresses four main topics. First, we review the size and socio-demographic characteristics of the Albanians who have immigrated to Italy. Two data sources are used: permits to stay and population registers. Both reveal a fast-growing immigrant population during the 1990s, and one which is becoming more demographically normalised, with more women and children. The second part of the paper examines the labour market performance of Albanian immigrants, who are generally confined to a variety of low-status jobs with only limited evidence of occupational improvement. Regional contrasts, especially between northern and southern Italy, are important, since Albanian employment is closely tied to regional economic structures. Compared to other immigrant nationalities in Italy, Albanians have a weak tendency to become self-employed or business owners. Housing is the third topic of the paper: again the regional dimension is important, as well as the length of stay in Italy. Early arrivals, now with families, are reasonably well integrated in the housing market; recent migrants much less so. Nevertheless, Albanians as a whole suffer high levels of housing deprivation, above all because of the constricted supply of cheap accommodation and some discrimination by landlords. In the final section of the paper we address the complex issue of Albanians' alleged propensity for crime and deviancy: the figures strongly suggest this is a falsely constructed image.
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The complexity and diversity of immigration into Southern Europe are examined, within the limits of available data, along with the estimated illegal immigrant presence and participation in the formal economy. Illegal migration and illegal residence appear as norms, although obscured by multiple legalisation efforts by Southern European states. Three main routes of migration into the Mediterranean Basin are identified, with a recent increase in the use of smugglers and traffickers and very low asylum applications as well as recognition rates. Immigrant integration is posited as a dichotomy between economic role and social marginalisation-both largely determined by the illegal or semi-legal status of the immigrants. Three subtopics are briefly examined: the criminality of immigrants, immigrant population densities and access to healthcare services. Finally, a comparative overview of government policy responses is presented, concluding with identification of broad policy failures. Some policy priorities for the future are suggested.
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What lessons can be drawn from the unprecedented growth and spectacular collapse of financial pyramid schemes in Albania? This paper discusses the origins of the pyramid schemes and the way the authorities handled them. It also analyzes the economic effects of the pyramid schemes, concluding that despite the descent into anarchy triggered by the schemes' collapse, their direct effects on the economy are difficult to specify and appear to have been limited. Finally, the paper argues that prevention of pyramid schemes is better than cure and that governments and international financial institutions should be vigilant in clamping down on frauds. Copyright 2000, International Monetary Fund
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EU and US Approaches to the Management of Immigration: Greece
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Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix
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EU and US Approaches to the Management of Immigration: Italy
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