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Towards an integrated model of international migration


  • Douglas S. MASSEY

    () (Princeton University, Office of Population Research, U.S.A)


Demographers have yet to develop a suitable integrated model of international migration and consequently have been very poor at forecasting immigration. This paper outlines the basic elements of an integrated model and surveys recent history to suggest the key challenges to model construction. A comprehensive theory must explain the structural forces that create a supply of people prone to migrate internationally, the structural origins of labour demand in receiving countries, the motivations of those who respond to these forces by choosing to migrate internationally, the growth and structure of transnational networks that arise to support international movement, the behaviour states in response to immigrant flows, and the influence of state actions on the behaviour of migrants. Recent history suggests that a good model needs to respect the salience of markets, recognize the circularity of migrant flows, appreciate the power of feedback effects, and be alert unanticipated consequences of policy actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas S. MASSEY, 2012. "Towards an integrated model of international migration," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 3, pages 9-35, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jes:journl:y:2012:v:3:p:9-35

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Hatton, Timothy J. & Williamson, Jeffrey G., 1998. "The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195116519, June.
    8. Guillermina Jasso & Mark Rosenzweig, 1982. "Estimating the emigration rates of legal immigrants using administrative and survey data: The 1971 cohort of immigrants to the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 19(3), pages 279-290, August.
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    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
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    Cited by:

    1. Khrystyna FOGEL, 2015. "The multistage nature of labour migration from Eastern and Central Europe (experience of Ukraine, Poland, United Kingdom and Germany during the 2002-2011 period)," Eastern Journal of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 6, pages 55-81, December.


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