An evaluation of international migration theory: the North American case

D. S. Massey, J. Arango, G. Hugo, A. Kouaouci, A. Pellegrino, J. E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

385 Scopus citations


The article reviews empirical studies of international migration within the North American migratory system in order to evaluate the various theories that seek to explain the initiation and perpetuation of international movement. The review uncovers significant support for all theories, suggesting that they constitute complementary rather than competing explanations of migration. One criticism is that far too much research is focused on Mexico, whose unique relationship to the US may make it unrepresentative of broader patterns and trends in migration. After discussing salient gaps in the research record and outlining promising directions for future study, the article attempts to construct a comprehensive model for understanding immigration into North America. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-751
Number of pages53
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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