What Drives International Migration Flows? Evidence from 41 Countries 1970-2008 Using Non-Economic Determinants and Gravity Model

Keuntae Kim, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper quantifies the determinants for international migration flows by using only demographic, social, and geographic information owing to uncertainty and paucity of economic measures. The vast majority of past studies are focused on immigration into wealthy nations. Consequently, our knowledge on the determinants of emigration from developed nations to other countries is significantly limited. Yet, international migration has been increasing substantially and new destinations are emerging. The present study aims to fill the gap in the literature by combining international migration flows data from UN, Eurostat, and OECD from 1970 to 2008. The results from the gravity model and generalized estimating equations (GEE) support various theories of international migration. However, magnitude of each determinant of inflow was not identical in the outflow model, which suggests that migrants from wealth nations to the rest of the world are not constrained by economic resources as much as immigrants to rich countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 7