- Increasing Migration, Diverging Communities: Changing Character of Migrant Streams in Rural Thailand
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- by Garip, Filiz; Curran, Sara
- This paper studies how increasing migration changes the character of migrant
streams in sending communities. Cumulative causation theory posits that past migration patterns determine future flows, as prior migrants provide resources, influence,
or normative pressures that make individuals more likely to migrate. The theory
implies uniform patterns of exponentially increasing migration flows that are decreas-
ingly selective. Recent research identifies heterogeneity in the cumulative patterns and
selectivity of migration in communities. We propose that this heterogeneity may be explained by the differential accessibility of previously accumulated migration experience.
Multi-level, longitudinal migration data from 22 rural Thai communities allow us to
measure the distribution of past experience as a proxy for its accessibility to community
members. We find that migration becomes a less-selective process as migration experience accumulates, and migrants become increasingly diverse in socio-demographic
characteristics. Yet, selectivity within migrant streams persists if migration experience is not uniformly distributed among, and hence not equally accessible to, all community members. The results confirm that the accumulation and distribution of prior migrants’ experiences distinctly shape future migration flows, and may lead to diverging
cumulative patterns in communities over time.
- Publication Type: WCFIA Working Paper
- Published Date: February 2009
- Field of Interest: Global Issues
- Garip, Filiz, and Sara Curran. "Increasing Migration, Diverging Communities: Changing Character of Migrant Streams in Rural Thailand." Working Paper 2008-0054, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, February 2009.
- Previous working paper version dated January 2003.