1st Edition

Migration and the Transfer of Informal Human Capital Insights from Central Europe and Mexico

    152 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book explores the intangible human capital which international migrants bring with them and develop further when working and living abroad, drawing on case studies and original data from Central Europe and Mexico–USA.

    The book demonstrates that despite the fact that many international migrants might be working in their destination countries at a level below their formal qualifications, or else might be formally unskilled, but with practical non-validated skills, they can still acquire and enhance considerable informal human capital in the form of mind skills, soft skills, maker skills and life skills. The book analyses how migration-impacted informal human capital (MigCap) is acquired and enhanced as a result of international migration and what the opportunity and constraint structures are for their acquisitions and transfers. Adopting a comprehensive perspective, the book investigates how migration-impacted informal human capital is transferred by migrants between localities and areas of human actions and activities.

    Moving beyond the focus on migration as a source of economic capital, this book demonstrates that learning by observing, communicating and doing with others, embedded in social relations can facilitate the enhancement of intangible human capital among both skilled and unskilled migrants. It will be of interest to researchers of migration, sociology, economics, management and business studies, and other related social science disciplines.

    1 Introduction; 2 Migration-impacted informal human capital; 3 Methodology and data sources; 4 Profiles of migrating and returning Mexicans and Central Europeans; 5 Acquisition of informal human capital through migration; 6 Migratory transfer of informal human capital; 7 Conclusions and recommendations


    Izabela Grabowska is a sociologist and economist, full professor of social sciences and former IMISCOE board member. She specialises in international migration, human capital and social remittances. She is a professor at Kozminski University, Central Europe.

    Agata Jastrzebowska is a social psychologist, assistant professor, expert in applied doctorates and leader of the educational all-encompassing campaign "Speak to me kindly". She specialises in Person-Job fit. She is a post-doc at Kozminski University, Central Europe.

    "Izabela Grabowska and Agata Jastrzebowska have produced a rich and insightful discussion of the state of knowledge in one of the most pressing research topics: the acquisition, transfer and utilisation of human capital by international migrants and returned migrants. They weave theoretical discussion with a review of empirical research in two of the ‘hot spots’ of labour migration, Central Europe and Mexico, ranging from overviews to micro case studies that draw on their own extensive research. The volume is both an invaluable starting point for researchers new to the field, and a stimulus for more advanced researchers to rethink their understanding of this field." – Professor Allan Williams, University of Surrey, SHTM, Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

    "This is indispensable reading on the acquisition and transfer of human capital across international boundaries, and the implications for local development. The authors provide a thought-provoking theoretical discussion on the topic, and then explore the ways in which researchers have applied it in different national contexts. The authors’ impressive survey of the empirical literature on the topic demonstrates the ways in which different migrant groups – from women to men to professionals to those with little schooling – mobilize human capital to enhance economic opportunities. Migration and the Transfer of Human Capital is an essential read for students, scholars, and policymakers alike." – Professor Jacqueline Maria Hagan, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Fellow, Carolina Population Center, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill