Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Migration Theories

  • Xiana BuenoEmail author
  • Victoria Prieto-Rosas
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_633-1



Migration theories seek to understand the reasoning behind and motivations for the decisions of individuals and households to move from one location to another – domestically or internationally – as well as the factors that explain the maintenance of migration flows over time. Different theories employ different concepts, assumptions, and frames of reference depending on their discipline of origin and the time in which they were formulated.


Theories on the Initiation and Perpetuation of International Migration

There is a rich body of literature that has explored migrations from a theoretical perspective. The joint effort made by Massey et al. (1993) to compile different perspectives on the study of migration has become a classical reference for the study of migration theories. Massey et al. (1993) classified the theoretical perspectives into two categories: initiation and perpetuation theories.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’Estudis DemogràficsBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Universidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

Section editors and affiliations

  • Danan Gu
    • 1
  1. 1.Population Division, Department of Economic and Social AffairsUnited NationsNew YorkUSA