Cultural Distance and Migration Patterns in the EU: The Romanian Case

Iuliana Mihai , Isabel Novo-Corti
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIII, Issue 3, 410-424, 2020
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/1646


Purpose: The main goal of this study is to explore the influence of cultural distance on migration flows in EU to see if there is a model/pattern of general behavior in this regard. Given the exploratory goal of this paper, the paper is focusing on the Romanian case, being the first one in a subsequent series of studies applied to all EU countries. Design/Methodology/Approach: Employing World Bank data for the decades between 1960 and 2000 and a cultural distance based on the six cultural dimensions’ model developed by Hofstede, a SEM (Structural Equation Modeling) methodology is applied using Smart-PLS software. Findings: The results confirm a negative significant correlation between cultural distance and migration flows, suggesting that when cultural distance is increasing, migration flows decrease. Practical Implications: The research has two management implications: firstly, the findings demonstrate that culture is crucial in decision-making and, acknowledging this fact, leads to better solutions to migration problems between various EU countries. Moreover, this research indicates that studying only the economic aspects of migration is not sufficient; there is also a need to grasp the complexity of cultural aspects. In this regard, culture is a powerful resource and can be instrumental in finding proper strategies to migration crisis and conflict management. Originality/Value: The present research adds valuable input to the exiting literature due to several reasons: firstly, is focusing on an Eastern European country with a communist past and with an interesting democratic evolution. Secondly, most of the studies regarding the Romanian migration focuses mainly on its flows to specific countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Germany. Thirdly, this research demonstrates that culture really shapes human actions and it points out that human flows are part of an important cultural assimilation process.

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