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The last straw? Experiences and future plans of returned migrants in the India-GCC corridor

Published on February 21, 2024



In this article, we explore how precise information about migrants’ working conditions in their destination countries impacts their decision to migrate again upon returning home. Using household data from Kerala and Tamil Nadu from 2020–21, we study return emigrants (REM) who returned during the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Through a binary choice model, we discover that negative experiences in the destination country significantly influence the decision to re-migrate. Specifically, issues with salary payment and reduced working hours make re-migration less likely. We then apply a two-stage multinomial regression to identify the causes of these negative experiences and how they shape a migrant’s future decisions. We conclude that such experiences discourage re-migration and increase the preference to work in the country of origin. Our research offers insights for shaping future migration policies in the region.

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