Theories of migration: critical review in the context of the EU East-West flows
Published on June 13, 2010 in Other publications
Theories of migration: critical review in the context of the EU East-West flows. CARIM AS Best Participant Essays Series 2010/44, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole: EUI
This paper critically reviews theories of migration in the context of EU East-West flows. In addition to outlining the weaknesses of the dominant approaches, it also reviews migration theorizing more generally and synthesizes current suggestions on how to advance migration theorizing. The paper empirically tests the neoclassical paradigm on the actual data of after-accession labor mobility from the EU8 countries to the UK and Ireland. It argues that neoclassical theory of migration struggles to account for significantly different rates of outmigration from CEE countries which share similar living and wage differentials relative to Western Europe. The analysis helps to support the conceptual critique of this theory and to emphasize the need to incorporate country0specific institutional and structural variables into migration research ahilw analyzing migration as part of broader global processes and socio-economic change.