Migration, Theory of

Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Theorists in a variety of disciplines have offered theoretical explanations for human migration. This article reviews the leading models that have been developed to theorize five facts of human migration: the structural forces that promote 'out-migration' from sending regions; the structural forces that attract 'in-migrants' to receiving societies; the motivations, goals, and aspirations of people who respond to these structural forces by becoming migrants; the social and economic structures that arise to connect areas of out- and in-migration; and the actions taken by states to influence the number and characteristics of immigrants. These models include neoclassical economics, the new economics of labor migration, segmented labor-market theory, social capital, cumulative causation, world-systems theory, and securitization theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Emigration
  • Illegal migration
  • Immigration
  • International migration
  • Undocumented migration


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