Theories of international migration

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  Theories of International Migration: A Review and AppraisalAuthor(s): Douglas S. Massey, Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrinoand J. Edward TaylorSource: Population and Development Review, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 431-466Published by: Population Council Stable URL: . Accessed: 16/10/2013 08:20 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at  .  . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact  . Population Council  is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Population and  Development Review. This content downloaded from on Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:20:41 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  Theories of nternational Migration: A Review and Appraisal DOUGLAS S. MASSEY JOAQUIN ARANGO GRAEME HUGO ALI KOUAOUCI ADELA PELLEGRINO J. EDWARD TAYLOR OVER THE PAST 0 YEARS, mrnigration as emerged s a major orce hroughout the world. n traditional mmigrant-receiving ocieties uch s Australia, anada, and the United tates, he volume f mmigration as grown nd ts omposition has shifted ecisively way from urope, he historically ominant ource, toward Asia, Africa, nd Latin America. n Europe, meanwhile, ountries hat for centuries ad been sending out migrants ere suddenly ransformed into mmigrant-receiving ocieties. fter 945, virtually ll countries n Western Europe egan o attract ignificant umbers f workers rom broad. Although the migrants ere nitially rawn mainly rom outhern urope, y the ate 1960s they mostly ame from eveloping ountries n Africa, sia, he Carib- bean, nd the Middle East. By the 1980s even countries n southern urope-Italy, Spain, and Portugal-which nly decade before ad been sending migrants o wealthier countries n the north, egan to import workers rom Africa, sia, and the Middle ast. At he ame ime, apan-with ts ow and still eclining irth ate, its aging population, nd its high standard f living-found tself urning increasingly o migrants rom oorer ountries n Asia and even South America to satisfy ts abor needs. Most f he world's eveloped ountries ave become iverse, ultiethnic societies, nd those hat ave not reached his tate re moving ecisively n that direction. he emergence f nternational igration s a basic tructural eature of nearly ll ndustrialized ountries estifies o the trength nd coherence f he POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW 19, NO. 3 (SEPTEMBER 1993) 431 This content downloaded from on Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:20:41 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  432 THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION underlying orces. et he heoretical ase for nderstanding hese orces emains weak. The recent oom n mmigration as therefore aken itizens, fficials, nd demographers y surprise, nd when it comes to international igration, popular hinking emains mired n nineteenth-century oncepts, models, nd assumptions. At present, here s no single, oherent heory f nternational igration, only fragmented et of theories hat have developed argely n solation rom one another, ometimes ut not lways egmented y disciplinary oundaries. Current atterns nd trends n immigration, owever, uggest hat a full understanding f contemporary igratory rocesses will not be achieved y relying n the tools of one discipline lone, or by focusing n a single evel of analysis. Rather, heir omplex, multifaceted ature equires sophisticated theory hat ncorporates variety f perspectives, evels, nd assumptions. The purpose f his rticle s to explicate nd ntegrate he eading ontem- porary heories f nternational igration. e begin y examining odels hat describe he nitiation f nternational ovement nd then onsider heories hat account or why transnational opulation lows ersist cross pace and time. Rather han favoring ne theory ver nother priori, e seek to understand each model on its own terms n order o illuminate ey assumptions nd hypotheses. nly after ach theory as been considered eparately o we compare nd contrast he different onceptual rameworks o reveal reas of logical nconsistency nd substantive isagreement. n undertaking his xercise, we seek o provide sound asis or valuating he models mpirically, nd to ay the groundwork or onstructing n accurate nd comprehensive heory f international igration or he wenty-first entury. The initiation f ntemational migration A variety f heoretical odels has been proposed o explain why nternational migration egins, nd although ach ultimately eeks o explain he ame hing, they mploy adically ifferent oncepts, ssumptions, nd frames f reference. Neoclassical conomics ocuses n differentials n wages nd employment ondi- tions between ountries, nd on migration osts; t generally onceives f movement s an individual ecision or ncome maximization. he new eco- nomics f migration, n contrast, onsiders onditions n a variety f markets, not ust abor markets. t views migration s a household ecision aken o minimize isks o family ncome r to overcome apital onstraints n family production ctivities. ual labor market heory nd world systems heory generally gnore uch micro-level ecision rocesses, ocusing nstead n forces operating t much higher evels f ggregation. he former inks mmigration o the tructural equirements f modern ndustrial conomies, hile he atter ees immigration s a natural onsequence f economic lobalization nd market penetration cross national oundaries. This content downloaded from on Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:20:41 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions  DOUGLAS S. MASSEY ET AL. 433 Given he act hat heories onceptualize ausal processes t such different levels f analysis-the ndividual, he household, he national, nd the nter- national-they annot e assumed, priori, o be inherently ncompatible. t s quite possible, or xample, hat ndividuals ct to maximize ncome while families minirnize isk, nd that he context within which both decisions re made s shaped by structural orces perating t the national nd nternational levels. Nonetheless, he various models reflect ifferent esearch bjectives, focuses, nterests, nd ways f decomposing n enormously omplex ubject nto analytically anageable arts; nd a firm asis for udging heir onsistency requires hat he nner ogic, ropositions, ssumptions, nd hypotheses f ach theory e clearly pecified nd well-understood. Neoclassical conomics: Macro heory Probably he oldest nd best-known heory f international igration as developed riginally o explain abor migration n the process f economic development Lewis, 1954; Ranis and Fei, 1961; Harris nd Todaro, 1970; Todaro, 976). According o this heory nd ts xtensions, nternational igra- tion, ike ts nternal ounterpart, s caused by geographic ifferences n the supply f and demand for abor. Countries ith large ndowment f abor relative o capital ave a low equilibrium arket age, while ountries ith limited ndowment f abor elative o capital re haracterized y high market wage, as depicted raphically y the familiar nteraction f abor upply nd demand urves. he resulting ifferential n wages auses workers rom he ow- wage country o move o the high-wage ountry. s a result f his movement, the upply f abor decreases nd wages rise n the apital-poor ountry, hile the upply f abor ncreases nd wages all n the apital-rich ountry, eading, t equilibrium, o an international age differential hat eflects nly he costs f international ovement, ecuniary nd psychic. Mirroring he flow f workers rom abor-abundant o abor-scarce oun- tries s a flow f nvestment apital rom apital-rich o capital-poor ountries. The relative carcity f apital n poor ountries ields rate f eturn hat s high by international tandards, hereby ttracting nvestment. he movement f capital lso includes uman capital, with highly killed workers moving rom capital-rich o capital-poor ountries n order o reap high eturns n their kills in a human capital-scarce nvironment, eading o a parallel movement f managers, echnicians, nd other killed workers. he international low of labor, herefore, ust e kept onceptually istinct rom he ssociated nterna- tional low f human apital. ven n the most ggregated acro-level odels, the heterogeneity f nmmigrants long kill ines must e clearly ecognized. The simple nd compelling xplanation f nternational igration ffered by neoclassical macroeconomics as strongly haped public hinking nd has provided he ntellectual asis for much nmmigration olicy. he perspective contains everal mplicit ropositions nd assumptions: This content downloaded from on Wed, 16 Oct 2013 08:20:41 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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