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Out-migration and social capital 

Out-migration and social capital
Chapter:
Out-migration and social capital
Author(s):

Nicholas Spina

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198833741.003.0020
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date: 18 May 2021

This chapter explores how out-migration weakens social capital in sending communities. Based on game theoretical models of cooperation, it is theorized that the rate of subnational out-migration acts as a structural-level cue and informs residents about the prospect of future interactions between citizens. Heavy out-migration creates a cooperative dilemma by provoking doubt among residents about the benefits of extending trust to and engaging with strangers who may not remain in the community. This proposition is tested using subnational migration data from Bulgaria in two multivariate statistical analyses. The finding from the first set of models confirms that citizens residing in regions undergoing more out-migration report lower levels of generalized trust. A second series of tests reveal that subnational regions with more out-migration have fewer associational memberships per capita.

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