• Professor Stefan Markowski (CMR)
  • Dr Pawel Karczmarczyk (CMR), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Peoples’ decisions to migrate temporarily or permanently in search of employment or better living conditions depend in part on their accumulated wealth, which includes human and social capital and portfolios of financial and physical assets. As migrant wealth increases, decisions to move increasingly depend on how migrant mobility impacts the value of different assets (e.g., income gained from foreign employment may be largely offset by depreciation of migrant human capital). On the other hand, migration could lead to accumulation of physical assets back home, funded by migrant remittances. The effectiveness of migration policies, especially those dealing with legalization/normalization of migrant status in host countries largely depends on good understanding of such processes. However, little is known how migrants accumulate, value and manage different components of their wealth and it impacts subsequent migration decisions. This applies in particular to temporary, forced and pendulum-style forms of migration. There appears to be a significant gap in migration literature.

To address this gap, we aim to develop later in 2014 a proposal for a research project focused on asset formation by international migrants and its impact on migrant mobility. Our initial objective is to survey the extant literature survey to identify knowledge gaps, select principal and subsidiary research questions, develop data sourcing strategies and outline the appropriate research methodologies. This is to be followed by a scoping study of the post communist migration from Poland to the European Union, particularly the United Kingdom.


The two principal researchers at the Centre of Migration Research, The University of Warsaw (leader of the Initiative) will be Professor Stefan Markowski, Visiting Research Professor at the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and Dr Pawel Karczmarczyk, the Centre’s Deputy Director and Principal Researcher. Other participants in the scoping study include:

  • Professor Godfried Engbersen, Erasmus University (Rotterdam);
  • Professor Dusan Drbohlav, Charles University, Prague;
  • Dr Stephen Drinkwater, PhD, Swansea University; and
  • Dr Jon Erik Dølvik, FAFO (with team).

Agenda of activities

The proposed scoping study will involve:

  • a comprehensive literature survey to determine the stat of the art in this area and the extant knowledge gaps (the main activity at this stage);
  • development of the basic theory of asset formation by migrants to draw a series of working hypotheses and to guide data processing and analysis;
  • development of the principal and subsidiary research questions to be addressed by the intended research project;
  • development of country-specific data sourcing strategies to produce the future project database;
  • presentation of th initial study findings at the 2014 IMISCOE Conference in Madrid (conditional); and
  • review of potential sources of funding for the project and the associated strategies for funding support.


The current initiative will produce the following outputs:

  • standalone literature survey to determine the extant knowledge gaps and research questions to be addressed by the project (the state-of-the-art);
  • scoping study report outlining project aims, methodology, data sourcing strategies, expected outputs and outcomes, vulnerabilities, and resourcing;
  • presentation at the Madrid IMISCOE conference (conditional); and
  • funding application (-s) late in 2014 early 2015.