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Can Motivation Theory Explain Migration Decisions?


  • Natálie Reichlová


According to Abraham Maslow's motivational theory, human action is motivated by five levels of human needs. The model introduced in this paper exploits Maslow's theory to explain migration flows between regions. In the model, movement from one region to another influences migrant utility in three ways: through change in wage owing to different regional wage levels, through changes in utility connected with a migrant's safety needs, and through disarrangement of a migrant's social network. When safety and social needs are added to the model, equilibria arise in which wage differentials between regions persist.

Suggested Citation

  • Natálie Reichlová, 2007. "Can Motivation Theory Explain Migration Decisions?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2007(1), pages 70-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:prg:jnlpep:v:2007:y:2007:i:1:id:298:p:70-85

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    More about this item


    migration; agent-based modelling; decision-making; motivation; networks;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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