Determinants of regional migration flows from former soviet republics to Russia
The dissolution of the Soviet Union two decades ago created a new migration situation in the region. Although former Soviet republics develop independently, the region remains a common area for the vast majority of population. The post-Soviet movement of people is facilitated by shared transportation and communication systems, a regionally recognized language (Russian), education systems, complementary labor markets, and similar mentalities and behavior patterns. Russia is an important place of destination for regional migration. This may be attributed to notable income differentiation between former Soviet republics and Russia. Relevant changes of demographic profile in both directions also predict and reflect the patterns and flows of regional movement of people. This paper is aimed at analyzing and identifying factors affecting regional migration flows to Russia. The gravity model, being a key empirical tool, has been utilized in the paper. The research approach to the topic of interest remains interdisciplinary as it incorporates both economic and non-economic factors of migration patterns. The key finding of the paper is that the level of income in source countries and population in places of origin and destination are influential for migration. Socio-cultural factors which reflect a common historical background remain significant in all estimations.