The Role of Social Capital in the Highly-Skilled Migration from Lithuania
This article deals with the analysis of highly-skilled migration from Lithuania with particular focus on the social context. We test, what role social capital maintained by the migrants with the higher skills plays in their migration abroad. Social capital seen as a whole of social ties between migrants and people abroad, and between migrants and non-migrants left in Lithuania may play important role in the migratory process. Social ties can exercise a sponsorship function in the migratory process and, in such a way, ease, accelerate, and multiply migration flows. The sponsorship of migration (in monetary and non-monetary sense) leads to the reduction of migration risk and maximization of future gains. Thus, social ties manifesting themselves in two dimensions: institutional and interpersonal and their role in the migratory process are analyzed. We analyze the main channels of migration, their manifestation between different migrant groups, and their relationship with the migration push and pull factors. Analysis is based on the empirical research carried out by the authors in 2004 – 2005, which was presented in the previous publication, where push and pull factors of Lithuanian “brain drain” were analyzed (see Kazlauskienė, Rinkevičius, 2006). The article consist of four parts: in the first part theoretical approach of social capital and its role in migratory process is presented; second part presents operationalization of the social capital concept in the empirical research of highly-skilled migration; third part deals with the analysis of factors of social ties and their manifestation between different migrant groups based on the empirical research; in the fourth part comparative analysis of migration push and pull factors and the factors of social ties is made.