New Publication by BIGSSS Fellow Regina Becker › view all


Understanding High-Skilled Intra-European Migration Patterns: The Case of European Physicians in Germany

BIGSSS Affiliated PhD Fellow Regina Becker published a new article on "Understanding high-skilled intra-European migration patterns: the case of European physicians in Germany" with co-author and BIGSSS faculty member Céline Teney. The article was published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Access the article "High-Skilled Intra-European Migration Patterns" through the journal's website.



This paper investigates migration patterns of European physicians in Germany as an example of high-skilled intra-EU migration. We define migration patterns as the migrants’ original migration decisions and the intended length of stay in their destination country. Our analysis is based on an original mixed-method study that consists of a survey (N = 1,225) and 22 semi-structured follow-up interviews with physicians from throughout the EU. Based on our data, we distinguish three classes of migration patterns: (1) ‘traditional labour migrants’, who emphasise economic and work-related migration reasons and intend to stay in Germany permanently, (2) ‘career seekers’, whose migration was triggered by the quality and content of employment and who only moved temporarily, and (3) ‘family settlers’, who indicate family reasons as crucial factors in their migration decision and mainly intend to remain in Germany. Western European physicians are overrepresented in the family settlers’ class, while Eastern European physicians are more likely to belong to the traditional labour migrants’ class. As an overarching concept to trace intra-EU migration is lacking, we hope to contribute to the emerging field of intra-EU migration research with an in-depth empirical study that accounts for differences in migration patterns with respect to different regions of origin.