An indicator of globalization is the growing number of humans crossing national borders. In contrast to explanations for flows of goods and capital, migration research has concentrated on unilateral movements to rich democracies. This focus ignores the bilateral determinants of migration and stymies empirical and theoretical inquiry. The theoretical insights proposed here show how the regime type of both sending and receiving countries influences human migration. Specifically, democratic regimes accommodate fewer immigrants than autocracies and democracies enable emigration while autocracies prevent exit. The mechanisms for this divergence are a function of both micro-level motivations of migrants and institutional constraints on political leaders. Global bilateral migration data and a statistical method that captures the higher-order dependencies in network data are employed in this article.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science