Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Determinants of International Migration. A Panel Data Analysis

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

The Determinants of International Migration. A Panel Data Analysis

Article excerpt


The paper analyses two sets of determinants, economic and non-economic, to assess the influence they exerted on migration in Central and Eastern Europe, from 2000 to 2010. In the category of economic factors we have analysed the doing business index and the labour market regulation index. In the category of non-economic factors we have included the judicial independence index and integrity of the legal system index. Since we are talking mainly of labour migration, we have considered that the two economic indicators are suitable for the research purposes. Besides these, the indicators that characterise judicial independence and legal system can be considered as indicators that reflect a certain level of freedom and democracy. The results show that these factors have limited influence on migration.

Keywords: international migration, panel data analysis, migration determinants

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1. Introduction

Migration is a phenomenon that has always marked human evolution. Man has relentlessly searched for a place to enjoy better living conditions. Starting with the great migrations of the peoples of Antiquity or Middle Ages to current migration, the phenomenon has always been present and has shaped humankind history. Virtually all countries have been and are involved in the complex process of international migration, joining in the general picture as either as destination countries, or as countries of origin or transit.

Factors underlying migration have evolved differently over time. In the theory of migration (Massey, 2005), the phenomenon's historical approach refers to the period from 1500 to 1800 as the first period of the great modern migrations. This is the so called mercantile period when migration flows were mainly directed from Europe to America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Most of those who emigrated during this period were farmers, accompanied by a small body of clerks, entrepreneurs and, in some cases, convicts sent to serve their sentence in overseas colonies.

The second largest period is represented by the early nineteenth century industrial migration that industrialised former overseas colonies (Hatton & Williamson, 1994c). According to Ferenczi (1929) and Massey (1998), almost 85% of those who emigrated at that time turned to five countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the USA, and mainly came from Britain, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. These migratory movements have been slowed down, and even blocked, since World War I, the Great Depression of the late '20s and then the Second World War. This period is famous as the period of limited migration (Massey, 1998). So, the next big migration flow occurs only in the '60s. We are speaking of the post-industrial migration period, and, for the first time, alongside the traditional destination, European countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands (Anwar, 1995; Hammar, 1995; Hoffman-Nowotny, 1995; Ogden, 1995 in Massey et al., 1998) became important destinations. Gradually, they are joined in the '70s by countries such as Italy, Spain, and Portugal, which begin to take in immigrants from Africa, Latin America etc. (Fakiolas, 1995).

We note that Europe was in all these stages a provider of emigrants to other continents, particularly to the American continent. Only after 1989, Europe began to face significant intra-continental migratory movements. It is true that up to the fall of the Iron Curtain there have been some migration flows in Europe, such as that of the Turks or former Yugoslavia citizens to Germany. There were also those illegal migrants who escaped the socialist camp. They did not, however, have a significant scale. After 1989, the situation changed radically. Freedom of movement obtained by Central and Eastern European citizens has generated important migratory movements from the East to the West. EU enlargement has facilitated mobility even more. …

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