Realistic Group Conflict Theory

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Literature Review

The purpose of this section is to describe the main ideas regarding internal migration and to prepare the reader with both the findings of previous studies on this subject and the relevant theories behind it. The most relevant migration theories are presented with a certain focus on theories associated with determinants of internal migration followed by two sections, one describing the network theory and one on group conflict theory. Finally, a summary of previous research, which will motivate the choice of variables in the model, concludes this literature review.

Theoretical Framework

Due to increasing migration in general and increasing diversity in types of migration, the number of theories on migration is increasing more than ever. Most theories on migration are examining international migration but they are oftentimes applicable to internal migration as well (King, 2012). This section will begin with an assessment of micro-economic theories connected to internal migration, which are focused on individual migration decisions. This will follow with an assessment of the network theory of migration which has its roots in sociology. Finally, the theory of realistic group conflict is presente

Micro-Economic Migration Theories

Individual decision-making is the center of micro-economic migration theory, indicating that individual desires and values are more emphasized upon compared to the economic structure of a society (Massey et al, 1993). The main micro-economic theories on migration are the push- and pull-theory (Lee, 1966) and the human capital approach (Sjaastad, 1962).
Lee’s (1966) push- and pull-theory of migration is one of the most commonly referred to models of migration. This theory was the first to suggest that there are other factors than labor market-related reasons to migration. This theory acknowledges both the supply- and demand-side of migration and conceptualizes that there are both negative and positive effects connected to the origin and the destination region of migration. The push-factor serve as the reason for people to leave an area whereas the pull-factor of migration represent the motives of moving to an area (Lee, 1966). The argument behind the theory is that if there are more reasons for leaving an area than there are reasons to stay, that region will experience a net out-migration. Prevailing characteristics that represent push factors are low productivity, unemployment, and underdevelopment of a region. Typical pull factors are opportunities for better employment, higher income and a greater range of services (Lee, 1966).
Another theory that is associated with internal migration is the human capital approach pioneered by (Sjaastad, 1962). In Sjaastad’s (1962) theory, migration is regarded as an individual investment decision to increase human capital. This theory relies on individuals making rational decisions based on a cost-benefit analysis, migrating only when the expected benefits exceed the expected costs (Hagen-Zanker, 2008). The model further predicts that the age of a migrant is a significant aspect, where young individuals are expected to have a higher probability of migrating. This is because the expected returns to migration are higher for an individual that is young.
Most theories concern the economic motivations behind migration such as employment and wages but internal migration does not only depend on socio-economic factors. Migration decisions also depend on demographic circumstances such as income, unemployment rates, population growth and the demand for higher schooling (Hagen-Zanker, 2008)

 Networks and Social Capital

A migrant’s network can be seen as a location-specific form of social capital (cf. Massey et al. 1998). Social capital is defined by Bourdieu (Bourdieu, 1985) as the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to the possession of a network. Social capital is defined as capital because it is a resource that can be converted into other forms of cultural, human and economic capital (Bourdieu, 1985; Coleman, 1988; Portes, 1998).
The volume of the social capital a person gains from being in a group depends on the size of the network connections and the volume of the economic, cultural and symbolic capital possessed by the other members in that network (Bourdieu 1985). Migrant networks tend to decrease the economic, social and psychological costs of migration (Massey et al. 1998). Böcker (1994) argues that migrants function as ”bridgeheads”, reducing the risk and cost of other migrants of that group. Hence, an established migrant community at one destination will increase the likelihood of subsequent migration to that place. Therefore, besides financial and human capital, social capital needs to be recognized as a third crucial factor determining people’s motivation and ability to migrate (Massey 1990).
There is no uniform use of the concept of “social networks” in migration studies but a feature of social networks is their homophily (McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001). Homophily can be explained as the tendency that people have, who share similar personal, social, cultural, political or economic characteristics, to associate with each other (McPherson et al., 2001, p. 415). Shared characteristics and experiences are expected to trigger feelings of comfort, belonging and trust which are prerequisites for social networking and interaction between humans (Avenarius, 2009:23; Ryan et al., 2008).

 Realistic Group Conflict Theory

Prejudice and discrimination between groups of a society are oftentimes a product of a conflict of interest according to the realistic group conflict theory (LeVine & Campbell, 1972). Campbell (1965), recognized what seems to be an important factor of inter-group conflicts in determining attitudes and behavior in between them. Attitudes and behavior between groups reflect the interest of the groups and are based on the common goals they share. A positive relationship between groups is expected when goals are compatible, whereas negative intergroup attitudes, often expressed as a conflict, are expected to arise when group goals are incompatible. Campbell’s perspective of group interactions was titled the realistic group conflict to demonstrate that some group conflicts are realistically fought based on competition for scarce resources (Esses, Jackson and Armstrong, 1998).
An important assumption of this theory is that an actual competition over resources not have to exist. The mere perception of an existing rivalry of resources is sufficient for intergroup conflict and hostility. The realistic group conflict theory suggests that as perceived competition over resources increases between groups, so does the conflict between them (Esses, Jackson and Armstrong, 1998). Furthermore, it has been suggested that the more a group can benefit from succeeding in a conflict, the fiercer the conflict becomes and more opposition is expressed toward the conflicting group. The intergroup opposition justifies the conflict and the negative behavior towards members of the conflicting group (LeVine & Campbell, 1972). Finally, LeVine & Campbell (1972) suggest that when there exists competition over resources, geographical closeness increase the aggression between groups rather than reduce it.


Previous Research

In this section, we will look at previous research and what variables they have found to have an effect on relocation decisions of immigrants. Two papers from the U.S (Dodson, 2001; Zavodny, 1997) one paper from Canada (Moore & Rosenberg, 1995) and two papers from Sweden (Rephann & Vencatasawmy, 1999; Åslund, 2005) are examined. These papers have had different definitions of ethnic groups, have studied different countries and have emphasized on different immigrant groups. What they all have in common is that they previously have been trying to estimate immigrant’s internal moving patterns

Share of Immigrants

The two variables we want to investigate in this paper is the share of the municipal population from the same country of origin and the share of foreign-born population in a municipality. These variables have been found significant predictors in previous research (Dodson, 2001; Moore & Rosenberg, 1995; Rephann & Vencatasawmy, 1999; Zavodny, 1997; Åslund 2005). There is a higher likelihood of staying in a location or moving to a location where the there is a bigger immigrant population overall. Åslund (2005) argues that living close to people of the same ethnic and linguistic background may be valuable as such but can also be a way of establishing oneself in the new country. A high share of immigrants in a region could reflect that the region has experience in dealing with issues related to new immigrants, and/or an acceptance of foreign-born people which may lead to less risk of discrimination and alienatio

Location-Specific Control Variables

Previous research suggests that there are a set of other regional characteristics that affect location preferences among immigrants. These are the unemployment rate, the average income and the population in a region.
According to Rephann & Vencatasawmy (1999), economic circumstances have a strong influence on location decisions among immigrants. Bad labor market conditions have one of the strongest effects on the decision whether to stay or to relocate faced by asylum holders participating in a dispersal program of settlement (Åslund, 2005). Previous research has come up with diverse results regarding the impact of local unemployment. Åslund (2005), finds that it increases the likelihood of immigrants leaving a particular location, other research finds the unemployment rate not to be significant at all (Moore & Rosenberg, 1995; Zavodny, 1997).
High average earnings in general are expected to have a negative effect on the likelihood of moving. Moore & Rosenberg (1995) and Åslund (2005) does, however, find average wages to have a positive impact on the decision of relocating by immigrants. The explanation for this is that people generally prefer living among others with similar economic status. As refugees in general are found in the lower part of the income distribution this may be an explanation for the observed pattern (Åslund, 2005). Zavodny (1997) argues that economic circumstances in general are irrelevant in immigrant’s settlement decisions.
One of the characteristics that most previous researchers find to affect location preferences, both among immigrants and people in general, is the population size. People in general tend to gravitate towards the bigger cities, and immigrants tend to do so even more than native Swedes (Åslund 2005). The population size is a significant component influencing settlement patterns in previous studies (Moore & Rosenberg, 1995; Åslund, 2005). Åslund (2005) also find population size to be one of the strongest factors influencing the decision to stay or move faced by asylum holders. There are several opportunities associated with larger populations that contribute to the urbanization rate. Bigger cities often have more to offer culturally and provide improved consumption opportunities (Clark & Lloyd, 2011). Larger cities generally provide increasing opportunities for employment. A larger number of employers and workers lead to more available jobs, generate opportunities for specialization and are therefore more likely to create effective labor market pools (Glaeser, 1998).

Individual-Specific Control Variables

A number of personal characteristics have been found to influence the decision of resettlement among immigrants. These characteristics are; the age, gender, and country of origin of an individual (Rephann & Vencatasawmy, 1999; Åslund, 2005).
The likelihood to resettle is according to Moore & Rosenberg (1995) and Åslund (2005) quite different between immigrant groups. Moore & Rosenberg (1995) and Åslund (2005) finds that the share of local immigrants from the same ethnic group affects the decision making more for Asians compared to immigrants from other continents. Åslund (2005) also find that people from the Middle East appear to be more responsive to unemployment than other groups. Rephann & Vencatasawmy find that immigrants from Asian and African countries show a greater propensity to resettle compared to immigrants from other continents. Overall most immigrant groups appear to be more mobile than natives (Rephann & Vencatasawmy, 1999).
During young adulthood, the probability to migrate is the greatest. During this period people normally make the decision to enter the labor force or to go to university. Since young people generally have the most to gain from moving, migration is expected to decline with age. (Rephann & Vencatasawmy 1999).
Åslund (2005) finds that relocating from the initial municipality of settlement is significantly less common among women compared to men among program participants, whereas Rephann & Vencatasawmy (1999) in their study of all immigrants in Sweden finds resettlement decisions to be unrelated to gender

1. Introduction
2. Literature Review
2.1 Theoretical Framework
2.2 Previous Research
3. Methodology
3.1 The Empirical Model
3.2 Data
3.3 Method
4. Empirical Analysis 
4.1 Descriptive Statistics
4.2 Correlation Analysis
4.3 Regression Model
5. Conclusion 

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