At Europe's frontline: factors determining migrants decision making for onwards migration from Greece and Turkey.

Katie Kuschminder*, Jennifer Waidler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Limited research has been conducted on migrants' decision making factors in transit and this is an important area of investigation that goes beyond the origin-destination country dichotomy most commonly represented in migrant decision making. This paper examines the decision making factors for onwards migration or stay of migrants from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria in Greece and Turkey. This paper is based on a unique dataset of surveys collected with 1056 migrants in Athens and Istanbul from May- July 2015. The decision for onwards migration or stay is examined through a probit regression analysis. Four categories of influencing variables are discussed: the country of origin, current conditions in the transit country, the initial migration destination choice and previous onwards migration attempts. The results demonstrate that first; the majority of respondents in both countries seek to migrate onwards (75% in Greece and 63% in Turkey) and that conditions in the transit country are highly significant in influencing onwards migrate decisions including their current subjective living conditions, employment, experiences of abuse, and speaking the local language. This paper contextualizes the findings and highlight the complexity of factors influencing migrants' decision making in Greece and Turkey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-208
Number of pages21
JournalMigration & Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

JEL classifications

  • o15 - "Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration"


  • DECISION making
  • PROBIT analysis
  • COUNTRY of origin (Commerce)
  • LIVING conditions
  • decision making
  • Greece
  • irregular migration
  • Transit
  • Turkey

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