Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Determinants of International Migration and Remittances

Elena Vitalievna, Lebedeva (2007): Determinants of International Migration and Remittances. Published in: CIS Migration and Development , Vol. 4, No. 1 (2007): pp. 1-30.

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Abstract

This paper aims to generate new theoretical and empirical insights into the way states and policies shape migration processes in their interaction with other migration determinants in receiving and sending countries. More fundamentally, this state of-the-art reveals a still limited understanding of the forces driving migration. Although there is consensus that macro-contextual economic and political factors and meso-level factors such as networks all play ‘some’ role, there is no agreement on their relative weight and mutual interaction. To start filling that gap, this paper outlines the contours of a conceptual framework for generating improved insights into the ways states and policies shape migration processes in their interaction with structural migration determinants in receiving and sending countries. First, it argues that the fragmented insights from different disciplinary theories can be integrated in one framework through conceptualizing virtually all forms of migration as a function of capabilities and aspirations. Second, to increase conceptual clarity it distinguishes the preponderant role of states in migration processes from the hypothetically more marginal role of specific immigration and emigration policies. Subsequently, it hypothesizes four different ‘substitution effects’ which can partly explain why polices fail to meet their objectives. This framework will serve as a conceptual guide for the determinants of international migration research.

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