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Determinants of Intra-ASEAN Migration


  • Michele Tuccio

    (Economics Department, University of Southampton)


International labor mobility in Southeast Asia has risen drastically in recent decades and is expected to continue increasing with the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community in 2015. This paper looks at the determinants of the movement of workers and finds three structural factors that will likely drive further intra-ASEAN migration in the coming years: (i) demographic transition, (ii) large income differentials between economies, and (iii) the porosity of borders. A microfounded gravity model is estimated in order to empirically analyze the main determinants of intra-ASEAN migration in the period 1960–2000. Results suggest that the movement of migrants between Southeast Asian economies has mostly been driven by higher wages and migrant social networks in destination economies, as well as natural disasters in origin economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Tuccio, 2017. "Determinants of Intra-ASEAN Migration," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 34(1), pages 144-166, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:adbadr:v:34:y:2017:i:1:p:144-166

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    Cited by:

    1. Kohnert, Dirk, 2021. "Les relations entre l'ANASE et l'Afrique: vers un partenariat renouvelé ? [ASEAN and African relations: towards a renewed partnership ?]," MPRA Paper 110710, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Munir-Asen, Katrina, 2018. "(Re)negotiating refugee protection in Malaysia: implications for future policy in refugee management," IDOS Discussion Papers 29/2018, German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS).
    3. Kohnert, Dirk, 2021. "ASEAN and African relations: towards a renewed partnership?," AfricArxiv ph35m, Center for Open Science.
    4. Paul J. J. Welfens, 2020. "Trump’s Trade Policy, BREXIT, Corona Dynamics, EU Crisis and Declining Multilateralism," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 563-634, July.

    More about this item


    ASEAN; determinants; international migration; push and pull factors;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • 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
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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