We don't want you to join us if you don't leave us!

Svensson, Lotta (2013) We don't want you to join us if you don't leave us! Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, Special E (4). pp. 45-51. ISSN 2046-5378

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    Abstract

    In the transition between school and working life many young people are forced to make decisions which will have major, but difficult-to-foresee, consequences for their futures. For many of them there is an additional decision to make, namely the question of whether they should stay where they have grown up or move somewhere else. There is a migration of young people from almost every small municipality in Sweden, which is a major concern at several levels of society. Municipal leaders see their population base shrink, and are worried about the change in demographics and how this will affect social welfare. Businesses are worried there will be a shortage of skilled labour. Furthermore, there is the issue of what happens to confidence in the future and opportunities for development in a community where the young people are leaving? This article discusses the paradox in that underlying norms and internal logic lead to a situation where neither the young people who leave nor those who remain in the region are seen as a force for development. This is despite the fears of the adults in the regions of emigration, and despite there often being an expressed desire from regional policymakers to increase the participation of young people in regional development.