Mixed marriages in migration from the Ukraine to Poland

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This article was downloaded by: [Gazi University]On: 04 October 2014, At: 07:46Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKJournal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cjms20Mixed marriages in migration from theUkraine to PolandAgata Grny & Ewa KpiskaPublished online: 23 Jan 2007.To cite this article: Agata Grny & Ewa Kpiska (2004) Mixed marriages in migrationfrom the Ukraine to Poland, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30:2, 353-372, DOI:10.1080/1369183042000200740To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183042000200740PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoeveror howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to orarising out of the use of the Content.This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cjms20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/1369183042000200740http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183042000200740http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsJournal of Ethnic and Migration StudiesVol. 30, No. 2, March 2004, pp. 353372ISSN 1369183X (print)/ISSN 14699451 (online)/04/02035320 2004 Taylor & Francis LtdDOI: 10.1080/1369183042000200740Carfax PublishingMixed Marriages in Migration from the Ukraine to PolandAgata Grny and Ewa KepinskaIn the early 1990s, Poland, a previously migrant-exporting country, became the destinationfor immigrants from a range of different regions and countries. Most foreigners came fromthe former Soviet Union and especially from the Ukraine. The article uses the case study ofPolishUkrainian marriages to demonstrate the importance of the phenomenon of mixedmarriages in the light of contemporary migration to Poland. It is shown that temporarymovements to Poland contribute to the volume of mixed marriages that are contracted andthat the population of foreigners married to Polish citizens constitutes a large part ofcontemporary settlement migration to Poland. We argue that patterns of mixed marriagesand their formation can be explained by an economic approach to human behaviour,adjusted so as to take into account a framework of migration from ex-USSR to Poland.Keywords: UkrainePoland Migration; Mixed Marriages; Mates Selection; Economic Approach; GenderIntroductionThe political and economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980sgave rise to new patterns of migration in the region. Poland, like other relativelyadvanced transition countries such as Hungary and the Czech Republic, became animportant destination area for inhabitants of other countries of the former Soviet bloc.Migrants coming to Poland originate mainly from countries of the former USSR, inparticular from the Ukraine. Since that time there has been a gradual increase in thevolume of mixed marriages involving Polish people and citizens of these new sendingcountries.Agata Grny is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Research Fellow in the Centre ofMigration Research, Institute for Social Studies, at the University of Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: agata@gorny.najlepsze.pl.Ewa Kepinska is Research Fellow in the Centre of Migration Research, Institute for Social Studies, at the Universityof Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: ewak@uw.edu.plDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 354 A. Grny and E. KepinskaThe population of foreigners married to citizens of a destination country constitutesa particular element of settlement migration. Such foreigners are usually privileged inthe sense that they are given legal rights to entry which other potential migrantsmay not receive (Hammar 1990). As a result, they can form a large proportion of theoverall population of settlement migrants in countries which have a restrictive legalframework for settlement migration.This article considers the relationship between the formation of mixed marriagesand migration in Poland, which has been transformed from a country with a longhistory of net emigration to a country which has attracted (growing) numbers of immi-grants during the 1990s. Poland is thus an example of a new immigration country,where immigration policies are considered to be relatively restrictive and focused oncontrol measures. We argue that temporary movements to Poland significantlycontribute to the population of mixed marriages contracted in Poland. At the sametime, foreigners married to Polish citizens form a crucial part of settlement migrationto Poland, which has been gradually growing in the 1990s and to the present. This isdue, in part, to the limited opportunities for other groups of foreigners to acquire legalresidence in Poland. Thus, marriages between selected groups of foreigners and Polishcitizens can be considered as an important link between temporary and settlementimmigration in contemporary Poland.In particular, we argue that a relatively high proportion of foreigners who originatedfrom the former USSR, and are now married to Polish citizens, used to come to Polandas temporary labour migrants. Thus, factors underlying the formation of theirmarriages with Polish people are directly related to the determinants of temporarymigration from the former Soviet Union to Poland. This mobility can be efficientlyexplained by the neoclassical economic model of migration which assumes that indi-vidual decision-making involves utility maximisation (Sjaastad 1962; Todaro 1969).Despite the fact that it is through marriage that settlement migration becomes possible,the temporary migration which made it possible was stimulated by observable wagediscrepancies between Poland and countries in the former USSR (Kaczmarczyk andOklski 2002). Therefore, we argue that marriages between ex-USSR citizens and Polescan be explained using the economic approach to human behaviour proposed byBecker (1991), grounded in a framework of rational choice theory. Here, the fact thata marriage with a Polish citizen enables a foreigner to obtain legal residence in Polandshould be perceived as a particular and important non-market trait of a prospectivePolish partner. This approach seems to be justified in the light of the limited possibili-ties of legal stay in Poland and the considerably better economic prospects that exist inPoland, compared to the majority of ex-USSR countries.We focus on the example of Ukrainian immigrants, who are the largest group offoreigners coming to Poland from the former USSR in the 1990s. Certainly, thegeographical proximity of the Ukraine, the shared PolishUkrainian history, and thefact that Polish and Ukrainian cultures are very close to each other, make immigrationfrom the Ukraine to Poland particularly likely. Even so, the lessons learnt from this casestudy are likely to have resonance with the patterns of immigration to Poland fromother parts of the former Soviet Union.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 355Mixed Marriages and the Economic Approach to Human BehaviourAccording to Becker (1991), it could be argued that people marry to maximise theirexpected well-being. They decide to marry when it brings them higher utility thanremaining single. Such a conceptualisation of the phenomenon of marriage constitutesan element of the economic approach to human behaviour proposed by Becker. It isbased on rational choice theory, which considers family as an outcome of individualdecisions made on the basis of economic (and non-economic) cost and benefitcalculations (Giza-Poleszczuk 2002).This approach helps to explain why partners tend to come from similar socio-economic backgrounds. There are two types of trait of potential partners which areimportant in a selection process: market traits (income, professional position, etc.),and non-market traits (age, education, health, intelligence, personality, religion, etc.).Simple correlations between non-market traits such as intelligence, education, age,race, religion, and ethnic origin of spouses are positive and strong (see Winnch 1958,and Vandenberg 1972; from Becker 1991). On the other hand, the wage rates of maleand female partners may vary substantially, as one (usually female) partner may devoteconsiderable time to household occupations (rearing children, cooking, cleaning, etc.),while the high-wage (usually male) partner works in the labour market (Becker 1991:115). Moreover, young, attractive and intelligent people, especially women, are morelikely to marry rich partners, as those women have valuable non-market traits which,combined with high incomes of their spouses, can work very effectively in marriageoutput (the utilities of both partners are relatively high in such a situation).Becker (1991) defines mixed marriages broadly as those contracted between peopleof different religion, ethnicity or nation, but also those of different age and educationalattainment. However, his analysis focuses mainly on marriages that are mixed in termsof religion, ethnicity and nationality. A mixed marriage is more likely to bring worseoutputs (e.g. lower earnings and fertility) and to end up with a divorce than othermarriages. Because of that, those who enter mixed marriages are likely to have lowerexpectations than others: persons enter mixed marriages even though they anticipatea higher probability of divorce because they do not expect to do better by further searchand waiting (Becker 1991: 337). Moreover, divorced persons are more likely to out-marry as they usually expect lower gains from a subsequent marriage after one failedmarriage. On the other hand, mates entering mixed marriages can also have somespecific expectations which make them prone to marry someone from a differentreligion or ethnicity.Migration between two countries can also be envisaged as migration between twomarriage markets and the various characteristics of the migrant (e.g. age and maritalstatus) will determine where he/she is placed within this market. Some elements ofboth Beckers theory and rational choice theory can also be adapted to explain thesettlement patterns of those in mixed marriages. Those in mixed marriages are likelyto choose to settle in the country where the perceived opportunities are greatest and,usually, this is expected to be the country in which the household can generate ahigher income. The division of labour within the couple will also influence this. In aDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 356 A. Grny and E. Kepinskahousehold where only one partner is active on a labour market, a couple tends tosettle in a country where the job prospects for this person are better. Traditionally,the husband is responsible for satisfying the familys economic needs and mixedcouples are likely to settle in the country where he can obtain the higher income.This is one of the reasons why most people in mixed marriages live in the husbandsorigin country, although this may change as female participation in the labourmarket continues to rise (Cheng 1999; DeLaet 1999; Morokvasic 1993). Of course, itshould also be noted that other factors, such as immigration policy, social policy,childrens education opportunities or environmental conditions, will also influencemigrant choices, but the overriding assumption is that economic factors will be themain driver.The key assumption in this analysis is that Poland offers more attractive economicprospects than the Ukraine. This is based both on the opinions of immigrants them-selves and on a comparison between Polish and Ukrainian macro-economic indicators.In 1992, the Ukrainian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was 386 US dollars,whereas it was 2,197 US dollars in Poland. In the course of the 1990s, the differencebetween these indicators did not change much; throughout the 1990s the Ukrainianfigure was around one-fifth that for Poland. By 1999 this discrepancy was even higher,as the Ukrainian and Polish GDP per capita figures were 619 and 3,987 US dollarsrespectively (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 2000, 2001).Moreover, in 1998 Ukrainian GDP accounted for only 53 per cent of its level from 1990(in constant prices). Conversely, Polish GDP has been rising constantly since 1993 and,in 1998, was 32 per cent higher than its 1990 level. In 199195, the Ukrainian consumerprice index was rising by over 100 per cent annually. Between 1995 and the end of thedecade the increase continued but at a reduced rate. At the same time, real wages in theofficial sectors of the Ukrainian economy rose only in 1995 (by 27 per cent), whereasin most of the other years of the last decade they fell. What deserves particular attentionis that wages and salaries are not paid regularly in the Ukraine. For example, fromJanuary to August 1998, total wages in arrears grew 7.7 times and amounted to 20 percent of the total payroll (Frejka et al. 1999). For Poland, both the consumer price indexand the index of average gross nominal wages and salaries grew by 35 per cent annuallyduring 199398. Evidently in the 1990s the economic well-being of Ukrainian citizenswas constantly worsening, whereas for inhabitants of Poland economic conditionswere relatively stable (Grny 2002).This brief review highlights some important factors related to PolishUkrainianmarriages. Firstly, an important market trait of Polish partners is the fact that theyenable their Ukrainian partners to settle in Poland where they have better life andeconomic prospects than in the Ukraine. It is easier for a foreigner married to a Polishcitizen to legalise his or her status in Poland (i.e. to get a Permanent Residence Permit)than for other migrants. When granted Polish documents, a foreigner does not have towork illegally or to look for an employer who would be eager to engage a foreignerwhich involves a very complicated legal procedure. This is the reason why somemigrants enter bogus marriages with Polish citizens. However, although some immi-grants find well-paid jobs, it can be difficult to secure these quickly. Therefore, theyDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 357tend to be low-wage partners in couples, especially initially, as at the beginning of thelegalisation process many of them do not have work permits.Definitions and DataThere are various types of mixed marriage: interfaith, cross-cultural, interethnic andmarriages contracted between people of different citizenship. These categories ofmixed marriage differ in their relation to the mobility of people. The last type of mixedmarriage (cross-national) seems to be strongly determined by international migrationpatterns, whereas interfaith, cross-cultural and interethnic marriages are more likely tooccur between people living in the same country. It should be noted, however, thatvarious types of mixed marriage may overlap, as people of different nationalitycommonly have different cultural and religious backgrounds.This paper focuses on mixed marriages contracted between citizens of differentcountries notwithstanding their ethnicity (although the term bi-national may seem tobe more appropriate for the phenomenon we analyse, we use the term mixed marriagefollowing Beckers terminology). Such marriages usually involve a change of country ofsettlement of one partner. For the sake of our analysis, we define four types of mixedmarriage contracted in Poland: foreign women marriagesof a man who has Polish citizenship and a woman whohas citizenship of another country; foreign men marriagesof a woman who has Polish citizenship and a man whohas citizenship of another country; Ukrainian women marriagesof a man who has Polish citizenship and a womanwho has Ukrainian citizenship; Ukrainian men marriagesof a woman who has Polish citizenship and a man whohas Ukrainian citizenship.The analysis presented in this article is based mainly on statistical data on mixedmarriages contracted in Poland in the 1990s. These data include information about thevolume and dominant patterns of marriage formation, but they do not provide infor-mation about the past migratory experience of Ukrainian spouses. To examine theseissues further, we also present some results from a qualitative research project onPolishUkrainian marriages. The interviewees were selected from a database providedby the Warsaw Registries which included 162 addresses and covered five of the sevenWarsaw districts. The data we report on here comprise 34 in-depth interviewsconducted with spouses in PolishUkrainian marriages contracted in 198998 whowere resident in Warsaw; the capital has the highest concentration of PolishUkrainianmarriages in Poland, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the total of suchmarriages contracted in Poland during this period.As a background to the analysis of mixed marriages, we also present some basiccharacteristics (volume, age and education of spouses) of the overall populations ofmarriages contracted in Poland (hereafter Polish marriages) and the Ukraine (hereafterUkrainian marriages). Data concerning the characteristics of those involved in theseDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 358 A. Grny and E. Kepinskamarriages are derived from the respective Demographic Yearbooks (Ukraine 199296;Poland 199297).Mixed Marriages and Migration to PolandAt the beginning of the twenty-first century, Poland is a country which has had a longand rich migration history involving a number of nearby countries. It continues toexperience net emigration. Germany played and still plays the most important role.This is clear from the various official statistics on emigration from Poland (see, forexample, Iglicka 2001; Kaczmarczyk and Oklski 2002; Kepinska and Oklski 2002).Immigration to Poland was quite a novelty at the beginning of the 1990s, but it grewrapidly during the decade. Indicative of this increase, the number of cross-borderentries of foreign nationals to Poland rose from 6.2 million in 1988 to 36.8 million in1991, and then to 88.6 million in 1998. The number of work permits issued to foreignworkers also rose, from 4,271 in 1991 to 17,116 in 1999. Officially recorded immigra-tion (registration of arrival from abroad for permanent stay) rose from 2,200 personsin 1988 to 5,000 in 1991 and 8,900 in 1998. Poland witnessed the inflow of foreignersfrom diverse origins, although the main body of immigration to Poland has includedcitizens from neighbouring countries, particularly from republics of the former USSR,and especially from the Ukraine (Frejka et al. 1999; Wallace and Stola 2001). This istrue in virtually all forms of documented inflows, as Ukrainians constitute the largestproportion of foreign students, workers with adequate work permits, temporary andpermanent residents. Undocumented immigration to Poland from the former USSRwas also very high in the 1990s. According to estimates, such temporary movementsoutnumbered the documented flows (Oklski 1997). Their typical pattern is short-term, repetitive trips involving illegal seasonal work and trade activities in Poland(Jerczynski 1999; Sword 1999).Notwithstanding the temporary nature of the migration into Poland in the 1990s,some foreigners decided to stay in the destination country for longer periods, or evenpermanently. At the end of 2001, the number of foreign permanent residents in Polandexceeded 27,000 people (Kepinska and Oklski 2002). Along with the increasingnumbers of incoming foreigners the previously non-existent legal framework for settle-ment migration has been developed. This mainly involved growing restrictions putupon various categories of immigrants. The most significant changes were introducedby the Alien Act, which came into force at the end of 1997, and the amendment to thisAct in 2001. The main document, which not only legalises the status of foreigners inPoland, but also gives them virtually all social rights including the right to work legally,is a Permanent Residence Permit (PRP). These are granted without any time limit.Before 1998, it was relatively easy to obtain this document in Poland. A foreigner wasrequired only to prove his/her strong and satisfactory economic and/or family ties withPoland. At present, a foreigner has to live at least five years on the basis of a so-calledTemporary Residence Permit (TRP) before a PRP can be acquired. Consequently, ittakes five years before an immigrant can gain unrestricted access to the Polish labourmarket (Jagielski 2001).Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 359Nevertheless, marriage to a Polish citizen has been and still is perceived as a rathereasy and uncomplicated way of gaining legal status in Poland. Between 1992 and 2001,there were 33,906 such marriages. They accounted for only 1.5 per cent of all marriagescontracted in this period in Poland. Thus, while the volume of this phenomenon is notoverwhelming in numbers, it is higher than the above-mentioned stock of settlementmigrants. This suggests that marriage migration is likely to be a crucial part of the influxof foreigners settling in Poland during the 1990s.Two main characteristics of the mixed-marriage phenomenon are particularlyimportant: the distribution of origin countries and the gender breakdown of foreignspouses. Although the number of mixed marriages contracted annually in Poland wasrelatively stable during the period (around 3,0003,500, with a peak of 3,900 in 1998),both of the above characteristics changed significantly in the decade of the 1990s.Of the foreigners married to Polish citizens 48 per cent originated from Europeancountries excluding the former USSR republics, while 31 per cent came from theformer Soviet Union. Eight per cent of foreign spouses were citizens of the UnitedStates or Canada and a similar percentage originated from Asia. Despite the fact thatmore spouses originated in European countries that were not originally part of theUSSR, the volume of marriages with citizens of these countries was quite stablethroughout the period of study. The rising trend has been observed for marriagesbetween Poles and citizens of the former Soviet Uniontheir number displayed asignificant growth: from 336 in 1992 to 1,408 in 2001. Thus, their share in the totalpopulation of mixed marriages increased from 16 per cent in 1992 to 40 per cent in2001 (Figure 1).For the entire period of analysis, marriages between Polish women and foreign mengreatly predominated, accounting for an average of 67 per cent of the total populationof mixed marriages. However, their share has been continuously decreasing due to therising number of foreign women who are marrying Polish men. In 1992, four out of fivemarriages were of foreign men type, while in 2001 they constituted only 60 per centFigure 1. Mixed marriages in Poland, 19922001, by region of origin of foreign spouses.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 360 A. Grny and E. Kepinskaof the total. Consequently, the share of foreign women types of marriage doubled in2001 in comparison with 1992 (Figure 2).The distribution of countries of origin has been notably different for foreign menand foreign women. Foreign husbands originated chiefly from Europe (63 per cent)and Germans outnumbered foreigners from other countries. On the other hand,foreign wives were most likely to originate in the former USSR (70 per cent), with theUkraine playing the leading role. The most spectacular changes occurred in foreignwomen marriages: couples of Polish men and ex-USSR women grew radically inimportance, from 51 per cent in 1992 to 80 per cent in 2001.The Ukraine now has the leading role in the mixed-marriage phenomenon inPoland, not only among former USSR countries but also among other countries oforigin of foreign spouses. In fact, until 1999 it ranked in second position behindGermany, but since then it has provided more partners than any other country oforigin. Additionally, it comprised half of the total population of marriages contractedbetween Poles and ex-USSR citizens. The share of PolishUkrainian marriages hasbeen significantly increasing between 1992 and 2001. For the total population of mixedmarriages, the Ukraine displayed a considerable growth from 6 per cent in 1992 to 25per cent in 2001, and in the total population of marriages contracted between Poles andex-USSR citizens the share of PolishUkrainian marriages rose from 35 per cent in1992 to 63 per cent in 2001 (Table 1).In 1992, one out of five foreign women marriages were contracted between Polishmen and Ukrainian women whereas by 2001 they constituted half of such marriages(Table 2). This was due to the tremendous growth in the volume of Ukrainian womenmarriages as well as relative stability, or even slight decline, among other importantcountries of origin of foreign women. In addition, 76 per cent of all foreign womenFigure 2. Mixed marriages in Poland in 19922001, by gender of foreign spouses (per cent).Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 361marriages in 19922001 were contracted between Polish men and women from theUkraine, Russia and Belarus, with the Ukraine at the top of the list (Table 3).For foreign men marriages contracted in Poland in 19922001, Ukrainian menconstituted less than 5 per cent of the total and were outnumbered by citizens ofTable 1. PolishUkrainian marriages contracted in Poland in 19922001 by the country/region of origin of foreign spousesYear of marriage contractAll mixed marriagesPolishex-USSR marriagesPolishUkrainian marriagesPercent of PolishUkrainian marriagesin all mixedmarriagesPercent of PolishUkrainian marriages in Polishex-USSR marriages1992 3,250 524 181 5.5 34.51993 3,015 599 255 8.5 42.61994 3,235 789 337 10.4 42.71995 3,240 895 420 13.0 46.91996 3,154 979 448 14.2 45.81997 3,372 1,109 562 16.7 50.71998 3,969 1,349 656 16.5 48.61999 3,639 1,416 800 22.0 56.52000 3,537 1,378 827 23.4 60.02001 3,495 1,408 884 25.3 62.819922001 33,906 10,446 5,370 15.8 51.1Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Table 2. PolishUkrainian marriages contracted in Poland in 19922001 by type of marriageUkrainian women marriages Ukrainian men marriagesYear of marriage contract N% of all PolishUkrainian marriages% of foreign women marriages N% of all PolishUkrainian marriages% of foreign men marriages1992 134 74.0 18.6 47 26.0 1.91993 188 73.7 26.0 67 26.3 2.91994 254 75.4 28.2 83 24.6 3.61995 331 78.8 36.0 89 21.2 3.81996 340 75.9 34.8 108 24.1 5.01997 456 81.1 39.1 106 18.9 4.81998 537 81.9 34.8 119 18.1 4.91999 640 80.0 48.4 160 20.0 6.92000 675 81.6 49.7 152 18.4 7.02001 728 82.4 52.8 156 17.6 7.419922001 4,283 79.8 44.5 1,087 20.2 5.2Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 362 A. Grny and E. KepinskaGermany and the United States (Table 4). Thus, Ukrainian men couples do not seemto be a crucial part of the phenomenon. However, their volume and share in foreignmen marriages has been increasing. Similarly, the share of Ukrainian men couplesamong marriages contracted between Polish women and men from the former SovietUnion has been growing as well (from 30 per cent in 1992 to 45 per cent in 2001).Table 3. Mixed marriages of foreign women contracted in Poland in 19922001 by the main countries of origin of foreign spousesMixed marriages of foreign womenCountry of origin of foreign spouse N %Ukraine 4,283 38.9Russia 1,296 11.8Belarus 1,079 9.8Germany 757 6.9Vietnam 593 5.4USA 407 3.7Other 2,591 23.5Total 11,006 100.0Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Table 4. Mixed marriages of foreign men contracted in Poland in 19922001 by the main countries of origin of foreign spousesMixed marriages of foreign menCountry of origin of foreign spouse N %Germany 7,153 31.2USA 1,531 6.7Ukraine 1,087 4.7Netherlands 1,036 4.5UK 1,043 4,6Italy 988 4.3Vietnam 870 3.8France 701 3.1Armenia 626 2.7Canada 614 2.7Sweden 490 2.1Russia 447 2.0Other 6,314 27.6Total 22,900 100.0Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 363The difference in the distribution of countries of origin between foreign womenand foreign men couples is quite striking. Firstly, the number of countries involved ismuch greater for foreign men. Secondly, foreign husbands and wives come fromdifferent countries (compare Tables 3 and 4). At first glance, it seems that Polishwomen marry citizens of many countries whereas Polish men prefer to marry bridesoriginating almost exclusively from three ex-USSR countries. In fact, these differencesappear to be strongly related to patterns of emigration from, and immigration to,Poland. The majority of foreign husbands come from countries which have been thetraditional destinations for emigrants from Poland, such as Germany and the UnitedStates, but also Canada, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden and France. It is quite likelythat Polish women met their prospective husbands whilst working or studying abroad(Jaroszewska 2001).On the other hand, the marriages of women from the former USSR with Polish menare more likely to have involved unions of Polish citizens and foreigners from countriessending most immigrants to Poland. Thus, we can compare the number of foreignerswho entered mixed marriage in a given year with the number of foreigners granted aPRP in the following year in Poland. This is based on the assumption that migrantsnewly married to Polish citizens in 199297 were granted PRPs within one year fromtheir wedding and this concords with information from the qualitative interviews heldin Warsaw (such a fast acquisition of a PRP ceased to be possible upon the introductionof a more restrictive legal framework at the end of 1997). In fact, foreigners married toPolish citizens outnumbered those granted a PRP in the following year (e.g. thenumber of mixed marriages contracted in 1995 was 3,240 and the number of PRPgranted in 1996 was 2,800). This is because some of those involved in mixed marriageswill choose to settle in the country of the foreign partner, rather than Poland, followingthe wedding. This applies especially to PolishGerman marriages (Grny 2002;Jaroszewska 2001). On the other hand, ex-USSR citizens married to Poles constitutearound 55 per cent of ex-USSR citizens granted a PRP in the following year. ForUkrainians the respective figure is even higher at around 66 per cent.It might be argued that foreign men marriages are likely to lead to the emigrationof Polish women whereas foreign women marriages are more likely to result in femaleimmigration to Poland, particularly those from the Ukraine. This seems to concordwith previous research which demonstrates that women are likely to settle in thosecountries which attract labour migrants from their home countries (DeLaet 1999;Simons 1999).From among 25,855 foreigners holding PRPs in Poland at the end of 1999, ex-USSRcitizens accounted for almost half. Among them, Ukrainians dominated, accountingfor as much as 36 per cent of the group. At the same time, they were the largest groupof foreigners holding PRPs at around 17 per cent. Furthermore, throughout the 1990sthe volume of PRPs granted to Ukrainian citizens has been growing (Table 5).It should be noted that although gender was almost evenly distributed in the wholegroup concerned (women accounted for 47 per cent of the total), female migrants werein the majority among ex-USSR migrants (68 per cent). In the Ukrainian group, theshare of women was also high. In fact, the predominance of women in settlementDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 364 A. Grny and E. Kepinskamigration was a particular feature of the influx from the majority of ex-USSR republics,and especially from the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Apparently, ex-USSR womenhave a particularly high propensity to settle in Poland.To sum up, foreigners married to Polish citizens greatly contribute to the popula-tion of settlement migrants (PRP holders) in Poland. Here, the group of women fromthe ex-USSR deserves particular attention. Among them, Ukrainian women form themost sizeable group not only in the population of mixed marriages but also in thesettlement migration to Poland. At the same time, the vast majority of PRP holders,also of Ukrainian origin, are married people (Grny 2002). Clearly, marriage migrationis of great importance in settlement migration to Poland in general, and in Ukrainiansettlement migration in particular.PolishUkrainian MarriagesPatterns of Partner SelectionAge of SpousesThe age of spouses is a particularly important characteristic. The economic situation ofolder persons is usually more stable and they are also more likely to be better educated,especially by comparison with persons aged under 25 (the typical age of graduation).On the other hand, young partners are usually more attractive than old ones, especiallyyoung women (valuable non-market traits).Based on data for 1992 for Ukrainian marriages and 199297 for Polish marriages,spouses in PolishUkrainian marriages in Poland are on average older than those whomarry in their home countries (Poland and the Ukraine). The difference occurs, inparticular, between Ukrainian brides entering marriages in Poland and the Ukraine.Only a few of those who married Polish men were under 20 (Table 6)4 per cent, incomparison with 38 per cent of the marriages of Ukrainian women in the Ukraine. Itshould be noted, however, that Ukrainians, and especially Ukrainian women, tend toTable 5. The stock of foreign permanent residents in Poland on 31 December 1999Country of origin Total Males Females Missing dataUkraine 4,399 1,517 2,880 2Russia 3,411 894 2,513 4Vietnam 1,492 914 578 Belarus 1,468 425 1,043 Germany 1,338 813 524 1Bulgaria 968 648 317 3USA 620 345 273 2Czech Republic 613 261 351 1Lithuania 500 143 357 Other 11,046 7,420 3,563 63Total 25,855 13,380 12,399 76Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 365get married at a younger age in the Ukraine than do Poles in Poland. This differenceresults not only from cultural factors but also from Ukrainian legislation: women over16 years and men over 18 do not need the permission of their parents, whereas inPoland the limits are respectively 18 and 21. It seems, therefore, that Ukrainian womentend to follow Polish rather than Ukrainian patterns, marrying Polish partners at anolder age than that which is common in the Ukraine. However, Ukrainian wives are onaverage younger than their Polish husbands.In general, people involved in marriages of the Ukrainian women type are consid-erably older, both women and men, than those involved in Ukrainian men typemarriages. The age distribution of Ukrainian husbands in PolishUkrainian marriagesis similar to that of Ukrainian husbands in the Ukraine. They are usually youngonly10 per cent of them are over 40. Their Polish wives are on the average older, but it seemsthat most marriages of the Ukrainian men type are contracted between young people.The majority of partners from these marriages are under 30, which is usually perceivedas the typical age for getting married.The most common scenario is that men are older in a marriage (Becker 1991). Theage difference between spouses usually does not exceed 10 years. It seems that spousesinvolved in marriages of Ukrainian women type adhere to the above rule. As manyas 60 per cent of Polish husbands are somewhat older than their Ukrainian wives(Table 7); only in 16 per cent of these marriages was the age difference over 11 years(because the data on age were provided by five-year age groups, this difference couldonly be estimated). This shows that Ukrainian wives tend to marry older partners fromPoland. Polish wives of Ukrainians do not follow this pattern and only 37 per centmarry older men. In those marriages where Polish women are younger than theirUkrainian partners, they are usually very young (20 per cent of them were below theage of 19 and only 14 per cent were over 29 years). On the other hand, almost one-thirdof Polish women marry younger Ukrainian partners. This is quite a lot, compared withPolish marriages contracted during the period 199297, where only 7 per cent ofmarriages involved a man who was younger than the woman (data on age differenceTable 6. Age of spouses in PolishUkrainian marriages contracted in Poland in 199297Marriage of Ukrainian women Marriage of Ukrainian menUkrainian wife Polish husband Polish wife Ukrainian husbandAge of spouses N % N % N % N %Under 20 74 4.3 9 0.5 39 7.8 4 0.82029 885 52.0 535 31.4 260 52.0 302 60.43039 434 25.5 574 33.7 110 22.0 144 28.84049 228 13.4 337 19.8 67 13.4 41 8.2Over 49 82 4.8 248 14.6 24 4.8 9 1.8Total 1,703 100 1,703 100 500 100 500 100Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 366 A. Grny and E. Kepinskabetween partners involved in the Ukrainian marriages were not available). Further-more, in 7 per cent of Ukrainian men type marriages, women are at least 11 yearsolder than men. This age distribution suggests that Ukrainian women prefer to marryolder Polish men, who are probably able to offer them financial security. It seems thatthis is not as important for Polish women, who find young men from the Ukrainemore suitable.The age structure of marriages of Ukrainian women and Ukrainian men is differ-ent. In both types Ukrainians tend to be younger. It is not surprising that Ukrainianwomen are usually younger than their Polish husbands, as females tend to marry earlierthan males, and they usually prefer partners who can offer them financial security.According to Becker: The reason for the typical early marriages of women is that their biology, experiences,and other investments in human capital have been more specialised than those ofmen to the reproduction of children and other commodities requiring marriage orits equivalent (Becker 1991: 119).However, some young Ukrainians marry older Polish women, which is a little surpris-ing. It should be noted that, for Polish women, high economic status is less likely tobe related to their age than for Polish men. There is probably also another factor under-lying this: Polish wives can offer their foreign husbands the possibility of living inPoland, which they perceive as a country with better economic prospects than theUkraine. Polish women are, therefore, attractive to Ukrainian men, even though theyare not necessarily prosperous themselves.To sum up, the relatively young age of Ukrainians involved in PolishUkrainianmarriages can be perceived as evidence of a non-market trait which, matched with therelatively high incomes of older Polish partners (in comparison with averageUkrainian incomes), tends to augment the output of PolishUkrainian marriages. Itshould be noted, however, that a considerable proportion of PolishUkrainianmarriages (about one-third) were contracted between people of similar ages (notethat for Polish marriages in Poland, the share of unions in which partners were at theTable 7. Age of spouses involved in PolishUkrainian marriagescomparison within couplesMarriage of Ukrainian women Marriage of Ukrainian menComparison of spouses age N % N %At the same age 467 27.4 166 33.2Husband older 1,029 60.4 187 37.4Wife older 207 12.2 147 29.4Total 1,703 100.0 500 100.0Note: The comparisons are made on the basis of five-year age ranges: under 20, 2024, 2529, 3034, 3539, 4044, 4549, and over 49.Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 367same agethe same five-year bracketswas higher, at 49 per cent, than for PolishUkrainian ones).Education of SpousesPeople usually marry partners who have a similar educational level; such matchingreduces the risk of divorce (Becker 1991). On the other hand, high education is a non-market trait, as it is frequently related to the high social position of a given person.Education also determines the level of present or expected income of a given person.Ukrainian men and women are better educated than Poles (Table 8). Only aboutone-fifth of them did not complete secondary school, whereas 60 per cent of Polishmen and 39 per cent of Polish women failed to do so. Polish husbands are, therefore,the worst educated among the four categories of partners. It should be noted that citi-zens of the former Soviet Union are, on the average, well educated. In particular, theproportion of people with a university degree is high. In 1992, 43 per cent of Ukrainiansover 15 had at least complete secondary education, whereas for Poland this share was31 per cent. At the same time, the percentage of those who had only primary educationwas considerably higher in the Ukraine than in Poland (32 per cent in the Ukraine and16 per cent in Poland). Moreover, settlement migrants are usually very well educated,as it is easier for well-educated people to adjust to the host society and to find workthere. Because of this, they have a higher propensity to take up the risk of resettlement.In fact, Ukrainian settlement migrants coming to Poland are better educated thanUkrainian citizens, on average. In a group of Ukrainian migrants granted a PRP inPoland in 199299, 54 per cent had at least completed secondary education (Grny2002). Also, the level of education of Ukrainians involved in PolishUkrainianmarriages was even higher than the average for Ukrainian settlement migrants.In the PolishUkrainian marriages, the average Ukrainian is better educated thanthe average Pole (Table 9). In more than half of Ukrainian women marriages theTable 8. Education of spouses in PolishUkrainian marriages contracted in Poland in 199297Marriages of Ukrainian women Marriages of Ukrainian menEducation of spousesUkrainian wife Polish husband Polish wife Ukrainian husbandN % N % N % N %Primary 134 7.9 343 20.1 74 14.8 25 5.0Vocational 242 14.2 678 39.8 119 23.8 75 15.0Secondary 907 53.3 539 31.7 221 44.2 235 47.0Higher 405 24.0 141 8.3 86 17.2 163 32.7Missing data 15 0.9 3 0.1 0 0.0 2 0.4Total 1,703 100 1,703 100 500 100 500 100Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 368 A. Grny and E. Kepinskawoman was better educated than the man, and 44 per cent of Ukrainian women withuniversity degrees married Polish men whose education was below that of secondaryschool level. Like Ukrainian wives, Ukrainian husbands were also better educated thantheir Polish spouses. Both spouses had the same level of education in only 40 per centof PolishUkrainian marriages, which is quite small when compared with the figure of51 per cent for the whole population of marriages contracted in Poland in 199297.Evidently, the higher levels of education of Ukrainian spouses is another non-market trait of Ukrainian partners which may affect the chances of PolishUkrainianmarriages. The share of PolishUkrainian marriages in which partners had the sameeducation level was relatively low. This would suggest that, in relative terms, the higheducation of Ukrainian partners combined with high incomes of Polish partners (andthe possibility of living in Poland) result in marriage outcomes which are satisfactoryfor both Polish and Ukrainian partners.To conclude, in terms of two non-market traitsage and educationPolishspouses tend to be less attractive than their Ukrainian marriage-partners. Thus, follow-ing an economic approach to human behaviour, Polish partners appear to possessother market or non-market traits which make them attractive for Ukrainians. First ofall, these traits are likely to include relatively good economic prospects and the oppor-tunity for legal settlement in Poland, which Polish partners can offer their foreignpartners in Poland. These opportunities seem to be valuable enough to compensateUkrainian partners for the fact that they have to move to a foreign country where theyhave limited job opportunities at least at the beginning of their stay in Poland.Migratory Experience of Ukrainian Citizens in PolishUkrainianMarriagesEvidence from Qualitative DataThe qualitative research focused on PolishUkrainian married couples resident inWarsaw. These PolishUkrainian marriages differ in the way that the prospective part-ners travelled between various marriage markets, in particular between the Polish andthe Ukrainian ones, before their marriages. Four possible scenarios may be envisagedTable 9. Education of spouses in PolishUkrainian marriagescomparison within couplesComparison of spouses educationMarriage of Ukrainian women Marriage of Ukrainian menN % N %The same level of education 658 38.6 205 41.0Husband better educated 151 8.9 220 44.0Wife better educated 879 51.6 73 14.6Missing data 15 0.9 2 0.4Total 1,703 100.0 500 100.0Source: Devised from data provided by the Polish Central Statistical Office.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 369which constitute the types of the formation of PolishUkrainian marriages in relationto the mobility of the prospective partners (Table 10). It should be noted that thistypology does not refer to the overall migratory experience of a person, but only tomobility versus immobility prior to a meeting with a prospective foreign partner. Thus,for the sake of the proposed typology, the persons who met the foreign partners in themarriage markets of their home countries are considered to be immobile.Ukrainian migrant and Polish migrant marriages are directly related to migrationbetween Poland and the Ukraine. This is due to the fact that they are preceded by themigration of only one of the partners. Thus, mobile partners have to take up trips eitherto Poland (Ukrainians) or the Ukraine (Poles) so as to meet their prospective immobilepartners. Bi-migrant marriages refer to the situation when both partners migratedand met each other in a third foreign countryneither Poland nor the Ukraine. There-fore, marriages of this type are not conditioned by migration between Poland and theUkraine. Finally, arranged marriages are not related directly to the mobility of theprospective partners. It may be assumed that the largest proportion of such marriagesconstitute the marriages contracted by means of international match-making organi-sations. Thanks to such organisations, potential partners enter foreign marriagemarkets without the need to migrate to a foreign country (Poland or the Ukraine).Marriages may also be arranged by families or even friends of prospective spouses.However, this is quite seldom the case with PolishUkrainian marriages, as arrangedmarriages are not common in either Polish or Ukrainian cultures.Here, we concentrate on Ukrainian migrant marriages which are directly related tothe mobility from the Ukraine to Poland. Such marriages constituted the majority ofthe investigated group25 out of 34 cases. We divided Ukrainian migrant marriagesinto two sub-groups: migrants (15 cases) and travellers (10 cases).The group of migrants contains people who used to come to Poland as labourmigrants in the 1990s. Their mobility was typical of Ukrainian migration to Poland,involving short-term, repetitive trips devoted to income-generating activities. They usedto be mainly seasonal workers and traders, but also skilled workers (English teachers, aballet dancer, a therapist, a masseuse and an employee of a Ukrainian branch of a Polishcompany). Migrants met their Polish partners on the Polish marriage market in thecourse of their trips to Poland. Some of them established relationships with their prospec-tive Polish partners at their places of work, whereas the other couples were introducedTable 10. Typology of the formation of PolishUkrainian marriages in relation to the mobility of prospective partnersUkrainian partnersMobile ImmobileMobile Bi-migrant marriage Polish migrant marriagePolish partnersImmobile Ukrainian migrant marriage Arranged marriageDownloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 370 A. Grny and E. Kepinskato each other at informal meetings with their friends in Poland. Others met in situationswhich may happen to any couple: during a walk, at a discotheque or at a shop.Travellers are Ukrainians who visited Poland for different reasons before meetingup with their Polish partners. However, what they have in common is that none ofthem were labour migrants to Poland. They comprise Ukrainians who came to Polandas students (four cases) and people who visited their family or friends upon arrival inPoland. It should be noted that there are some people of Polish origin among thesetravellers. This is rare among the migrant group. In fact, Ukrainian students comingto Poland are particularly likely to be of Polish descent due to the promotional policyof the Polish Ministry of Education for foreigners of this type. They are entitled notonly to free education in Poland, but also to a scholarship from the Polish Ministry ofEducation.The research also demonstrated that a group of Ukrainian migrants in Polandperceived marriage with a Polish citizen as a way to settle in Poland, because it is easierfor foreigners married to Poles to legalise their status in Poland. Some of the Ukrainianmigrants even entered bogus marriages to achieve that goal. During the research wecame across such cases but it was usually very difficult to convince people involved insuch marriages to take part in the research. There is only one obvious case of a bogusmarriage in the investigated group. The rest of the PolishUkrainian marriages coveredby the research can not be easily described as bogus ones. Nevertheless, many of ourUkrainian respondents of the migrant type admitted that they thought, during theirlabour migration, that marriage with a Polish citizen would offer an opportunity forthem to stay in Poland for good. Many of our respondents also acknowledged that theyknew or heard about cases of bogus marriages contracted so as to enable Ukrainianmigrants to gain a residence permit in Poland.Certainly, the qualitative research does not allow for reliable generalisation. It seems,however, that a considerable part of PolishUkrainian marriages is likely to be precededby various sorts of mobility of a Ukrainian partner to Poland and especially byshort-term labour migration (see also Ackers 2000; Breger 1998; Davis and Heyl 1986).ConclusionChange in migratory trends in Central and Eastern Europe is evidently reflected inpatterns of the formation of mixed marriages in Poland. Marriages involving Polishmen and female migrants originating from ex-USSRthe main area of origin ofimmigrants coming to Poland in the 1990shave grown in importance in the overallpopulation of mixed marriages contracted in Poland in the 1990s. Overall, the resultsconform with previous findings that women are more likely to settle in the country oftheir partners than vice versa (DeLaet 1999; Simons 1999).The analysis of selected data on immigration to Poland and mixed marriages onlypartly allows for tracing the interrelation between various Ukrainian movements toPoland and the growing phenomenon of PolishUkrainian marriages. Nevertheless,the qualitative data suggest that temporary movements from the Ukraine to Polandcontribute significantly to the volume of PolishUkrainian marriages.Downloaded by [Gazi University] at 07:46 04 October 2014 Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 371At the same time, PolishUkrainian marriages constitute a crucial part of Ukrainiansettlement migration to Poland. Among other things, it appears to be related to the factthat Polish immigration law offers limited opportunities for legal settlement in Polandand a marriage with a Polish citizen is the simplest way to become a settlement migrant.Due to this fact it may be expected that some Ukrainian migrants attempt to marryPolish citizens in order to gain access to Poland where they have better economic andlife prospects than in the Ukraine, although many of the marriages will, of course, begenuine. As we show, Ukrainians married to Polish citizens are particularly likelyto settle in Poland, when compared to other foreigner husbands and wives. This isparticularly so for Ukrainian women. Also, the analysis of the socio-demographic char-acteristics of the partners involved in PolishUkrainian marriages identifies some keytraits. Ukrainian spouses are younger and better educated than Poles. Evidently, thesehigh-value, non-market traits of Ukrainians match satisfactorily with other valuabletraits of Polish partnersabove all with the fact that, after marrying a Polish citizen, aUkrainian has an excellent opportunity to settle in Poland.To sum up, the analysis of PolishUkrainian marriages demonstrates that thephenomenon of mixed marriages plays an important role in the contemporarymigratory space of Polanda new immigration country with a relatively restrictiveframework for settlement. It can be argued that similar conclusions can be derived forother groups of migrants coming to Poland from ex-USSR countries, which was themain origin area for in-migrants to Poland in the 1990s.AcknowledgmentsThe analysis presented in this article is based on three research projects. Two were carriedout by the Centre of Migration Research, Warsaw University (CMR): Immigrants:socio-demographic characteristics, causes of inflow, integration in Polish society(199597) and Undocumented foreigners in Poland (1999). The third research project,on The role of social, economic and political networks in settlement migration toPoland: the case of Ukrainian migrants, was carried out jointly by the CMR and Schoolof Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London (19982001).ReferencesAckers, L. (2000) Shifting Spaces. Women, Citizenship and Migration within the European Union.Bristol: Policy Press.Becker, G.S. (1991) A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Breger, R. (1998) Love and the state: women, mixed marriages and the law in Germany, in Breger,R. and Hill, R. (eds) Cross-Cultural Marriage. Identity and Choice. Oxford: Berg, 12952.Cheng, S.A. 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