Theories of international migration: a review and appraisal

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2914 Scopus citations


This article surveys contemporary theories of international migration in order to illuminate their leading propositions, assumptions, and hypotheses. It hopes to pave the way for a systematic empirical evaluation of their guiding tenets. The authors divide the theories conceptually into those advanced to explain the initiation of international migration and those put forth to account for the persistence of migration across space and time. Because they are specified at such different levels of analysis, the theories are not inherently logically inconsistent. The task of selecting between theories and propositions thus becomes an empirical exercise, one that must occur before a truly integrated theoretical framework can be fully realized. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-466
Number of pages36
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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