Early-Life Causes and Later-Life Consequences of Migration: Evidence from Older Irish Adults

Alan Barrett, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin
Irene Mosca, Trinity College Dublin

Between 2009 and 2011, fieldwork was undertaken for the first wave of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). Extensive information was collected on about 8,500 individuals aged 50+ and living in Ireland, covering topics such as economic circumstances and health. Over 20 per cent of TILDA respondents are returned migrants, that is, former emigrants who have returned to live in Ireland. This paper reviews the work to date that has investigated different dimensions of migration at different points in the life-cycle using the TILDA data. Three issues are addressed. First, what circumstances contributed to the decision to emigrate? Second, was there evidence that living away produced psychological stress? Third, do return migrants suffer from social isolation on return? The data suggest that the return migrants were more likely to have suffered abuse as children, to have been more prone to alcohol problems and to be more socially isolated currently.

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Presented in Session 180: Migration Data and Methods