Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A primer of international migration: The Latin American experience and a proposal for a research agenda

Garcia, Pablo M and Rodriguez-Montemayor, Eduardo (2010): A primer of international migration: The Latin American experience and a proposal for a research agenda.

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Abstract

Although the phenomenon of international migration has been around for a while, in the last decades there has been a world-wide resurgence of it, which is larger in scale, wider is scope and is frequently accompanied by large flows of monetary remittances. These tendencies have revived the debate in the academic and policy spheres over their potential social and economic consequences. In this paper we develop a ‘Primer’ that presents the ‘state of the art’ in the study of international migration and make special emphasis on how the Latin American experience fits in it. We first present an overview of migration patterns in the region and highlight the importance of the United States as the prime destination for Latin American migrants. We then develop the core of the paper which reviews the different theories that have been proposed in the academic literature for explaining both the determinants of migration and its potential impacts, particularly from the perspective of the source country. In the process, we accentuate the central role played by international remittances. Finally, based on the current knowledge frontier in the subject, we propose a research agenda in order to fill some of the current shortages in the analysis of migration in the region.

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