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Culture and economics of migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Brian Scholl

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm596

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Scholl, B. 2013. Culture and economics of migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Migration may be defined as a temporary or permanent, forced or voluntary, spatial displacement of an individual or group from one location to another. It may involve movement across state borders (e.g. immigration/emigration) or be internal to a state or locale (e.g. urbanization). Migration may be prompted by any number of individual, family, or external considerations: economic (e.g. wage differentials between origin and destination), political (war, persecution), and so forth. Migration is not simply the act of movement from place to place. The study of migration relates to a series of decisions and outcomes. Individuals and households are faced with: a migration decision (should we migrate?) a location decision (where should we migrate to?), and a repatriation decision (should we return to our point of origin?). There are numerous other subsidiary decisions involved, for example, how much to invest in skill development in either locale (Borjas 1999). Once migrants arrive at a new destination, individual expectations are manifested in terms of an actual wage, lifestyle, and quality of life that may or may not live up to expectations. Individuals arriving at a new locale are also confronted by issues of integration and acculturation: adopting local languages, customs, values, codes of conduct, and modes of behavior.


  • cultural diversity;
  • cross-cultural;
  • ethnocentrism;
  • race;
  • demography and population studies