High self-selection of Ukrainian refugees into Europe: Evidence from Kraków and Vienna

Jones-Antwi, R.E., Kohlenberger, J., Buber-Ennser, I., Pędziwiatr, K., Rengs, B., Setz, I., Brzozowski, J., Riederer, B., et al. (2023). High self-selection of Ukrainian refugees into Europe: Evidence from Kraków and Vienna. PLoS ONE 18 (12) e0279783. 10.1371/journal.pone.0279783.

[thumbnail of journal.pone.0279783.pdf]
journal.pone.0279783.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Almost eight million Ukrainians have fled their country to escape the Russian full-scale invasion. To provide empirical evidence on how beneficiaries of temporary protection who reside in the immediate proximity of Ukraine differ from those who went further and reside in Western European countries, two large-scale rapid-response surveys were conducted in Kraków, Poland, and Vienna, Austria, in spring 2022. Data include information on socio-demographic characteristics, human capital, and return intentions of 472 and 1,094 adult Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Austria, respectively. Contributing to the growing empirical evidence on consistent assortative patterns in refugee inflows into Europe, our findings show that regularities in patterns of self-selection also occur in forced migration contexts where legal routes to safety apply. According to the analysed convenience sample, a tentative conclusion is that the further Ukrainian refugees moved to the West, the more self-selected they tend to be in the key dimensions of formal educational attainment, previous employment, language skills, and urbanity. Results indicate that willingness to stay in Kraków is significantly lower than willingness to remain in Vienna. This suggests that public financial support and living conditions, rather than diaspora networks, are decisive factors in shaping the decision to stay, move to another location or return to Ukraine. The aim to start a new life elsewhere may drive the motivation to choose a more distant destination instead of a neighboring country that allows to return rather quickly. Host countries should be aware of these specific characteristics of their refugee populations and adapt their integration policies accordingly.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing (SHAW)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2024 08:28
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 08:28
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19382

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item