Emigrants from the Western Balkans: The Region’s Money Sacks?

  • Iris KolešaEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Centuries of emigration from the Western Balkans have had an impact on political, demographic, social, and economic developments in the region. Research on mechanisms, determinants, and particularly the economic outcomes of emigration for both individual countries in the region and the Western Balkans as a whole has been scarce, though. This chapter thus aims to (1) provide an overview of the existing studies and official statistics on emigration from eight Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia), (2) outline the economic impact of emigration on the region, and (3) set an agenda for future research in the field. The analysis of emigrants’ economic engagement in the Western Balkans since transition in the 1990s to date demonstrates that, although the globally dispersed and numerous emigrants from the region seem to remain involved in their countries of origin’s economies through foreign direct investment, remittances, and migrant entrepreneurship, the overall impact of the Western Balkan’s emigrants on both national and regional economies is limited. Structural obstacles to development are identified as key barriers to emigrants’ more notable and impactful economic engagement in their countries of origin and the region as a whole. To substantiate policy that would enhance economic outcomes of emigrants’ involvement in the region, further studies of motivation for- and determinants of emigrants’ economic engagement in the Western Balkans at both the individual and migrant community levels are needed.


Western Balkans Emigration Foreign direct investment Remittances Migrant entrepreneurship 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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