Labor migration: an overview
Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
Copyright © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration
How to Cite
Ness, I. 2013. Labor migration: an overview. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration.
- Published Online: 4 FEB 2013
For over a century, assessments of labor migration have been rooted in classical political economy, which diagnose the individual relative advantages and motivations for moving to a new location for personal gain. These calculations by migrants are often referred to as pushpull factors, emphasizing superior survival conditions in destination regions. The recurring perspective is that those individuals who are most skilled will migrate to improve their standard of living. While the incentive to migrate ostensibly contributes to new working opportunities, training, and development, little consideration is given to those factors producing poverty in the regions of departure or the genuine potential for poverty in the destination regions (Todaro 1977). It is rooted in scientific abstraction rather than a historical and comparative examination of the factors that have propelled migration in different eras (Borjas 1989). By some means, in the ideal capitalist society, labor migration will almost always transpire on the basis of ensuring the creation of labor-market equilibrium.
Keywords: employment and unemployment; labor; demography and population studies; labor supply; political economy; colonialism; capitalism