Return on capital? Determinants of counter-migration among early career Israeli STEM researchers

Emil Israel, Nir Cohen, Daniel Czamanski

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Migration studies emphasize the role of economic, social and cultural capital in shaping outmigration decisions. Yet, little attention is paid to the effect of capital endowment on return migration, particularly among the highly educated. This article examines the extent to which different forms of capital determine return decisions of early-career researchers (ECRs). We hypothesized that individuals from more privileged backgrounds would repatriate at higher rates, due to the benefits that their capital stock might offer them upon homeland reintegration at home. Drawing on a sample of 223 early career Israeli scholars in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, we used logistic regressions to analyze the effects of material wealth, social ties, and family-oriented cultural capital on their return propensities. No significant differences were found between repatriating and non-repatriating scholars with respect to cultural capital. However, accumulating social and economic capital was positively correlated with the decision to repatriate as was marrying into academic families.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0220609
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Israel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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