IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/mig/journl/v12y2015i3p279-299.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Missing Element in Migration Theories

Author

Listed:
  • Douglas S. Massey

    () (Office of Population Research, Princeton University, NJ, United States.)

Abstract

From the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s, migration between Mexico and the United States constituted a stable system whose contours were shaped by social and economic conditions well-theorized by prevailing models of migration. It evolved as a mostly circular movement of male workers going to a handful of U.S. states in response to changing conditions of labour supply and demand north and south of the border, relative wages prevailing in each nation, market failures and structural economic changes in Mexico, and the expansion of migrant networks following processes specified by neoclassical economics, segmented labour market theory, the new economics of labour migration, social capital theory, world systems theory, and theoretical models of state behaviour. After 1986, however, the migration system was radically transformed, with the net rate of migration increasing sharply as movement shifted from a circular flow of male workers going a limited set of destinations to a nationwide population of settled families. This transformation stemmed from a dynamic process that occurred in the public arena to bring about an unprecedented militarization of the Mexico-U.S. border, and not because of shifts in social, economic, or political factors specified in prevailing theories. In this paper I draw on earlier work to describe that dynamic process and demonstrate its consequences, underscoring the need for greater theoretical attention to the self-interested actions of politicians, pundits, and bureaucrats who benefit from the social construction and political manufacture of immigration crises when none really exist

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas S. Massey, 2015. "A Missing Element in Migration Theories," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(3), pages 279-299, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:3:p:279-299
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.tplondon.com/index.php/ml/article/view/280/273
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, 2016. "The Economics of Temporary Migrations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 98-136, March.
    2. repec:bla:blaboo:1557860300 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Filiz Garip, 2012. "Discovering Diverse Mechanisms of Migration: The Mexico–US Stream 1970–2000," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 38(3), pages 393-433, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Katharine Hall & Dorrit Posel, 2018. "Fragmenting the family? The complexity of household migration strategies in postapartheid South Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 008, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. repec:rom:terumm:v:12:y:2017:i:1:p:5-20 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration theories; borders; United States; Mexico;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:3:p:279-299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (TPLondon). General contact details of provider: https://www.tplondon.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.