Immigration from the CIS countries to Russia in the context of the economic crisis in the Russian Federation

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Agnieszka Piekutowska
Monika Fiedorczuk


Research background: A series of changes towards the greater openness to the influx of foreign labour force made in recent years in the Russian Federation prompts for analysis of immigration to this country as adopted solutions in the field of the migration policy affect other regions of destination (e.g. EU). Liberalisation of access of migrants to the Russian labour market is a part of a wider problem: competition (on an international scale) for an influx of foreign labour force. In this context, it is worth examining how the crisis which affected the Russian economy influenced the scale of immigration to Russia from the main sending countries, i.e. the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Purpose of the article: The aim of the article is to show the impact of the crisis which affected the Russian economy in recent years on the scale of immigration from the CIS countries to Russia. The main hypothesis is as follows: the factor explaining immigration from the CIS countries to Russia is the difference in the level of income measured by GDP per capita (PPP) between the sending state and the country of destination. Such studies have not been undertaken so far and, due to the role of factors inherent in the concept of post-imperial migration, it becomes relevant to examine whether the factors shaping migration (including the differences in the level of income) recognised in the neoclassical theory of migration are important in explaining the flows in this area.

Methods: In order to check the relationship between immigration and the economic crisis in Russia, the analysis of correlation and regression was used.

Findings & Value added: It has been shown that despite the decline in GDP in Russia, immigration from the CIS countries to Russia is not decreasing. Therefore, it is a dependence different from the assumptions of the neoclassical economy according to which the reduction of differences in the level of income between the sending state and the country of destination reduces the scale of international migrations. As it has been shown, the scale of migration to Russia may not be explained by the difference in the level of GDP per capita in all CIS countries and, inter alia, political factors, conflicts or naturalisation processes become more important in shaping the scale of migration to Russia.

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How to Cite
Piekutowska, A., & Fiedorczuk, M. (2018). Immigration from the CIS countries to Russia in the context of the economic crisis in the Russian Federation. Oeconomia Copernicana, 9(4), 677-694.


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