Return migrants' perceptions of living conditions in Ethiopia: A gendered analysis

Ozge Bilgili*, Katie Kuschminder, Melissa Siegel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It is widely accepted that people migrate to seek better living opportunities, and migration experiences affect life conditions considerably upon return. Research focused on gendered perspectives has illustrated that men and women experience migration differently and that this difference clearly affects their living conditions upon return. However, few studies have sought to further examine the factors that determine the differences in men and women's perceptions upon return. This paper investigates the case of Ethiopian returnees by exploring three sets of independent variables: (1) the migration experience, (2) the return experience, and (3) the post-return conditions in Ethiopia. For this analysis, we utilize a subsample of returnees based on a household survey conducted among 1,284 households in five regions of Ethiopia in 2011. The subsample consists of 146 returnees and provides valuable information on the diverse experiences of returnees. Both the descriptive and logistic regression analyses demonstrate that: first, women have significantly worse perceptions of their living conditions upon return to Ethiopia than men do; second, migration experiences are the most significant variables that influence perceptions of living conditions upon return. Considering this latter result, we conclude by highlighting the importance of situating return experiences within the wider context of the entire migration cycle and recognizing the long-term effects of migration experiences that persist after return.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-366
Number of pages22
JournalMigration Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

JEL classifications

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


  • living conditions
  • return and reintegration
  • transnationalism
  • gender
  • Ethiopia


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