Douglas S. Massey et al
“Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal

International migration is emerging as a basic structural feature in nearly all industrialized countries and is a testament to the strength and coherence of “underlying forces” not understood or well known based on existing competing theories --> seeking a coherent theory
An explication of existing theories, strengths and weaknesses, and how they might fit together
***Each theory has a list of assumptions/propositions/conclusions at the end of its section; you only need to read those (even instead of my summaries)

The Initiation of International Migration
Neoclassical economics (macro): [summary p. 434] migration is caused by the supply and demand of labor and the resulting wage differentiation based on a country’s economic condition; international flow of labor is distinct from flow of capital, including human capital (opposite directions); must recognize the heterogeneity of immigrants and flows

Neoclassical economics (micro): [summary p. 435-6] individual actors migrate after making cost-benefit analyses; migration is a form of investment in human capital

“New Economics” of Migration: [summary p. 439-40] decisions not by isolated actors but by families or households acting collectively to maximize expected income and minimize risks from home market failures; home countries in un/underdeveloped areas don’t have insurance for crops, price protecton of “futures markets”, or governement support; also, exporting individuals to accumulate capital fuels growth back home --> all of these are marketpressures fueling international migration; against neo-classicalists, income is not a homogeneous good (i.e. the source matters) and migration is fueled by desires of increased absolute AND relative income (relative deprivation theory)

Dual labor market theory: [summary p. 444] similar to Piore stuff in stratification section; international migration stems from intrinsic labor demands of modern industrial countires, not from rational choice decisions; pull factors, not push factors; stems from “four fundamental characteristics of advanced industrial societies/economies:
(1) structural inflation: informal social expectations and formal institutional mechanisms ensure that wages correspond to hierarchies of prestige and status—higher wages to lower skilled is improbable because causes inflation of wages up the hierarchy
(2) motivational problems: few “natives” want jobs with low pay that give neither financial or status rewards --> get migrants who just want income (status in US is moot for them)
(3) Economic dualism: a bifurcation of the labor force occurs because of how capitalists like to use permanent labor and reserve labor as the economy fluctuates (or the seasons); workers who are “capital intensive” are more costly to obtain, train, and lose resulting in a primary labor market emerges with specific advantages and characteristics  (see Piore)
(4) the demography of labor supply: above three create a permanent demand (and supply) of workers fitting the low-wage, low-skill criteria; in the past, women and teenagers filled the void, but women are working elsewhere and teens less involved/interested --> a demographic trend toward a smaller domestic labor supply for secondary market jobs
 

World systems theory: [summary pp. 447-8] Similar to Wallerstein stuff in social change section; it’s not the bifurcation of the labor market, it’s the structure of the world market; migration is a “natural outgrowth of disruptions and dislocations”, all part of capitalist development in sending/receiving countries; flows are generated as land, raw materials, and labor within “peripheral regions” come under the influence and control of markets (e.g. agricultural mechanization = job loss); they briefly discuss role/influence of raw materials, labor, material and ideological links, and global cities: low skill/educated natives refuse bottom jobs; well-educated natives and “foreigners” fill upper tier jobs; service industry created --> all translates into a demand for low wage immigrants

The perpetuation of international movement
Network theory:  [summary pp. 449-50] influence of: chain migration, obligations inherent in network ties, risk attenuation; conceptualized as a self-sustaining diffusion process: a family/household decision, but once someone migrates the potential exists for a chain of migrations to occur (see cumulative causation below)

Institutional theory: [summary p. 451] discuss role of private institutions and voluntary organizations that step in to assist migration process; they become known by migrants and constitute another form of social capital as they become institutionalized

Cumulative causation: [summary p. 454] each act of migration alters the social context within which subsequent decisions are made; most researchers use six demographic variables, but others are likely [distribution of income and land; regional distribution of human capital; regional meaning of work (i.e. social labeling); and the organization of agriculture]; each of the six are briefly discussed on pp. 451-3

Migration systems theory: [summary p. 454]; the three above, as well as the world systems theory, combine to produce a stable (but not fixed) structure of migration flows over space and time but that vary across countries; migration systems theory focuses on a core receiving region (a few countries) receiving immigrants from a few specific sending countries

Evaluation of Theories
The above theories obviously approach migration with different causal mechanisms and at different levels of aggregation, but they’re not necessarily contradictory; the authors call for an integration while testing for which combinations are most useful [models/stats needed: see pp. 455-61]