MEDAM in the News

A key assumption about migration turns out to be wrong—taking a few of my articles down with it

Excerpt from the Article

A new study debunks the concept of the ‘migration hump’, an influential theory which stated that when a country develops, migration goes up. The implications for Europe’s migration policies are worrying. 

[...] Schneiderheinze co-authored the paper with David Benček, and is affiliated with the Mercator Dialogue on Migration and Asylum (MEDAM) research project. He explains: it’s possible that emigration decreases over time because income increases, but it’s also possible that both happen because of some other factor that was not measured. For example, because there is a new government. Or because oil prices went up. Or, because it rained more. In an ideal world, he tells me, “we would correct for every single factor that could potentially influence economic growth and migration”. But of course, that’s never possible. 

“Even so,” Schneiderheinze says, “this research comes closer to establishing causality than a comparison between countries. Now at least it’s about what really happened in one single country over time. Based on this data, we absolutely cannot predict that a 1% increase in GDP will lead to X% decrease in migration. But we can say that the migration hump is wrong.” [...]

Complete article

Oringinal Dutch-language article | de Correspondent

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David Benček