Structural framework conditions and individual motivations for youth-mobility: A macro-micro level approach for different European country-types

Karen Hemming, Tabea Schlimbach, Frank Tillmann, Birte Nienaber, Monica Roman, Jan Skrobanek


European youth mobility seems to be fostering Europe’s unequal pace of integration, which sees certain countries benefit at the expense of others (Ohmacht et al., 2009; van Mol & Timmerman, 2014). Using a comparative approach, the paper aims to relate a macro-level country-typology focussing on human capital with individual mobility-motivations on the micro-level. Our methodological approach is based on a secondary macro-data analysis and analyses of mobility-motivations of young people (micro-data) deriving from qualitative (N=152) and quantitative data (N=5,499) collected in six European countries. In order to examine correspondence between macro-conditions and micro-aspects, we relate information on mobility-motivations to the country-typology by allocating mobile youth to the respective types of their home country. The results show that the country-types compose different opportunity structures, which are reflected in individual motivations. Accordingly, different country-types can be seen as an example of the heterogeneity and inequality of European social and territorial mobility frames.


European youth mobility; micro-macro level approach; human capital; mobility motivations; multiple methods

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