Social structure, household strategies, and the cumulative causation of migration.

D. S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

868 Scopus citations


This review culls disparate elements from the theoretical and research literature on human migration to argue for the construction of a theory of migration that simultaneously incorporates multiple levels of analysis within a longitudinal perspective. A detailed review of interconnections among individual behavior, household strategies, community structures, and national political economies indicates that inter-level and inter-temporal dependencies are inherent to the migration process and give it a strong internal momentum. The dynamic interplay between network growth and individual migration labor, migration remittances, and local income distributions all create powerful feedback mechanisms that lead to the cumulative causation of migration. These mechanisms are reinforced and shaped by macrolevel relationships within the larger political economy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalPopulation index
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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