Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Institute for Futures Studies

No 2009:21: The geographies of recruiting a partner from abroad. An exploration of Swedish data

John Östh (), Maarten van Ham () and Thomas Niedomysl ()
Additional contact information
John Östh: Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Sweden, Postal: Department of Social And Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 (plan 4), Box 513, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
Maarten van Ham: School of Geography & Geosciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland UK, Postal: School of Geography & Geosciences, Irvine Buildning, University of St Andrews, North Street, St Andrews, KY16 9AL, Fife, Scotland, UK
Thomas Niedomysl: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: International marriages are both a result and a driver of higher levels of global mobility and interconnectivity. Increasing ease of air travel for work and leisure, rising numbers of individuals studying, working and travelling abroad, and the emergence of international partnering websites have expanded traditionally local marriage fields – the geographical areas where people meet the partner – to global proportions. This expansion has increased the chance of meeting a potential partner from abroad resulting in an increase in international marriage migration. Recruiting a partner from abroad is surrounded by prejudice and stigma. ‘Knowledge’ about the characteristics of the individual ‘importing’ a partner from abroad is often based on anecdotic evidence and myths. In this paper we explore the factors that determine the probability that a native Swede recruits a partner from abroad. Along with various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the Swede we will pay specific attention to the geographies of marriage migration: the opportunity structure. This study uses longitudinal population data for the whole of Sweden, containing information on all individuals who lived in Sweden between 1994 and 2004. The results from multinomial logistic regression models shed a unique light on gendered and geographic patterns of partner recruitment.

Keywords: Migration; International marriage; Marriage migartion; Demographic characteristics; Socioeconomic characteristics; Globalisation; Sweden

JEL-codes: F22

22 pages, February 17, 2010

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X ISBN: 978-91-85619-60-3

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