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Migration and Remittances in Central Asia: The Case of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan

Researchers and cooperation partners: Alexander M. Danzer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, IOS Regensburg), Barbara Dietz (IOS Regensburg), Jürgen Jerger (Universität Regensburg, IOS Regensburg), Ksenia Gatskova (IOS Regensburg), Achim Schmillen (World Bank, IOS Regensburg), Gulzhan Alimbekova (Center for Study of Public Opinion CIOM, Almaty, Kazakhstan), Muzaffar Olimov (Research Center SHARQ, Dushanbe, Tajikistan)
Funding: VW Foundation
Project duration: 2009-2013
Keywords: Migration, Remittances, Central Asia

The research project “Migration and Remittances in Central Asia” explored two highly relevant topics for Kazakhstan and Tajikistan: the scope, patterns and impacts of migration and remittances. A core objective of the project was to generate unique data via household surveys in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in co-operation with local research partners.

The survey in Kazakhstan questioned 2.227 households between October and December 2010 in four cities (Almaty, Astana, Pavlodar and Karaganda). The field work was accomplished by our local research partner CIOM. According to the results of the survey internal migration was the predominant form of movements in Kazakhstan in the recent decade. Among internal migrants who have moved since 2002 better educated persons prevail and ethnic Kazakhs are more involved in internal migration than Russians. The most important reason for migration is work, followed by education and family related motivations. The consequences of migration seem to have been largely positive: on average, moving increased both migrants’ earnings and their social status.

In Tajikistan, the household survey aimed at re-interviewing households surveyed by the Tajikistan Living Standards Survey (TLSS) which had been implemented by the World Bank in fall 2007 and 2009. In cooperation with the partnering institution SHARQ and Goskomstat Tajikistan, 1.500 households from the TLSS 2007 and 2009 were re-interviewed between October 2011 and January 2012. The survey results reinforce the decisive role labor migration and remittances play for Tajikistan. Taken together, every second household in Tajikistan has a migrant currently abroad or has been involved in labor migration activities since the country became independent. The survey shows that nearly all migrants went to Russia; almost two thirds chose the capital city Moscow. The crucial role of remittances for Tajik labor migrants is confirmed by the survey: 85 percent of migrants reported to send money home.

An important element of the project was capacity building in the region. This resulted in a close cooperation with researchers from the partnering institutions and the organization of a Summer School in Almaty in August 2011(for the program and papers see Summer School report). The general findings of the research project and the most important policy implications following from the analysis are published in two booklets, one referring to Kazakhstan, the other to Tajikistan. 



Danzer, A.M., Dietz, B. and Gatskova, K. (2013). Kazakhstan Migration and Remittances Survey: Migration, Welfare and the Labor Market in an Emerging Economy. Survey report.
in Englisch 
на русском

Danzer, A.M., Dietz, B. and Gatskova, K. (2013). Tajikistan Household Panel Survey: Migration, Welfare and the Labor Market. Survey report.
in Englisch 
на русском  



Danzer, A. M. and Ivaschenko, O. (2010). Migration patterns in a remittances dependent economy: Evidence from Tajikistan during the global financial crisis, Migration Letters, vol. 7(2): 190-202. (PDF)

Aldashev, A. and Dietz, B. (2011). Determinants of Internal Migration in Kazakhstan. Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg, Working Papers No. 301, (iza dp 6289, February 2012).

Dietz, B. (2011). Interne Migration in Kasachstan: Ein Motor ökonomischer und sozialer Entwicklung?, Zentralasien Analysen, 47: 2-15. (PDF)

Dietz, B. and Gatskova, K. (2011). Migration and Remittances in Kazakhstan: Survey Technical Report. Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg Working Papers No. 303.

Dietz, B., Gatskova, K. and Schmillen, A. (2011). Migration and Remittances in Kazakhstan: First Evidence from a Household Survey. Osteuropa-Institut Regensburg Working Papers No. 304.

Danzer, A.M., Dietz, B., Gatskova, K. and Schmillen, A. (2013): Showing off to the new neighbors? Socioeconomic status, earnings and consumption patterns of internal migrants, forthcoming in: Journal of Comparative Economics. (PDF)

Danzer, A.M., Dietz, B., Gatskova, K. (2013). Migration and Remittances in Tajikistan: Survey Technical Report. IOS Working Papers No. 327.


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