MIGNEX Background Paper

The multi-level determination of migration processes


We examine what drives migration aspirations, encouragement of other people’s migration, and migration preparations. The answers lie partly in characteristics of the local area and partly in individual traits and experiences. Based on a new definition, we specifically examine the role of so-called ‘root causes’ of migration.

By Jørgen Carling, Nicolás Caso, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Marcela G. Rubio – Published on 31 October 2023
Key takeaways
Drivers of migration are highly context specific. The same factors that increase migration aspirations in some areas can lower them in others.
Limited livelihood opportunities, perceptions of poor governance, and high levels of corruption are the root causes that most clearly affect migration aspirations.
Migration aspirations tend to be higher among wealthier people. But regardless of wealth, being dissatisfied with life tends to spur a wish to leave.

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Carling, J., Caso, N., Hagen-Zanker, J. and Rubio, M. (2023) The multi-level determination of migration processes. MIGNEX Background Paper. Oslo: Peace Research Institute Oslo. Available at www.mignex.org/d061.