International Migration: Prospects and Policies in a Global Market

Douglas S. Massey, J. Edward Taylor

Research output: Book/ReportBook

68 Scopus citations


International migration emerged as a global phenomenon at the end of the twentieth century. All developed nations have become de facto receivers of immigrants, mostly from the developing world. Begins by undertaking a comprehensive examination of current patterns of international movement to assess prospects for the immediate future. Contrary to widespread belief, international migration is not related to population growth in developing nations. Rather, a survey of flows into the US, Europe, Argentina, and the newly industrialized countries of Asia suggest that it is more strongly connected to structural transformations associated with incorporation into global markets and is heavily conditioned by historical relationships of exchange, trade, and colonialism. The migration policies of developing nations recognize this fact by seeking to encourage and organize the export of labour as a source of foreign exchange earnings. In contrast, the policies of developed nations refuse to accept the reality of immigration and seek to prevent the entry of foreigners and limit their access to jobs and social programs. Whereas the former policies are often quite successful, the latter usually are not, producing a large gap between policy desires and outcomes in the developed world. Immigration is simply the labour component of a global market economy, and policy makers would do well to learn lessons from the prior era of globalization that occurred from 1800 to 1929. Policies that emphasize managing international population flows rather than preventing them are more likely to be successful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages406
ISBN (Electronic)9780191601309
ISBN (Print)0199269009, 9780199269006
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


  • Assimilation
  • Globalization
  • Immigrant integration
  • Immigrants
  • Immigration policy
  • International migration
  • Unauthorized migrants
  • Undocumented migrants


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