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Time-space dynamics of return and circular migration: Theories and evidence

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  • Constant, Amelie F.

    () (UNU-MERIT, and Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University)

Abstract

This chapter undertook the monumental task of providing a complete outlook about return, repeat, circular and onward migration by bringing together the perspectives of the host and the home country. In this endeavor, it reviewed and evaluated all theories about why people move, when they circulate, where they go, who are the people who migrate, who are the people who return, and how they change the economic and social structures in the home country. In the process, it revealed the new norm of joint decision-making by the family as a unit and underlined the importance of non-economic reasons for return. The chapter further provided a state-of-the-art literature review about empirical evidence regarding the disparate phenomena of return, circular and onward migration. It emphasized commonalities and compared differences in findings, while connecting them to the theories, policies and institutions. Return, repeat, and circular migrants are self-selected and extremely heterogeneous people and cannot conform under one theory or empirical study. Their de facto migration comportment can be understood by several different theories and, in the absence of good data, it can be explained by a variety of studies. The chapter ends with a critical conclusion and hope to inspire new avenues of research on the topic.

Suggested Citation

  • Constant, Amelie F., 2020. "Time-space dynamics of return and circular migration: Theories and evidence," MERIT Working Papers 2020-004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2020004
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2020/wp2020-004.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; migrant return; circular migration; onward migration; international labor migration; public policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • 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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