“Of all the Theories discussed which one do you think most powerfully helps us to explain why immigration between sending and receiving societies occurs?”

Why Migration Occurs? 

Neoclassic economics theory explains the main reason behind labor migrations between sending and receiving countries to be the differences in wages between the two geographically separated regions. Moreover, the theory also explains that difference in wages between sending and receiving countries is related to the differential demand and supply gaps between the two regions (Jennissen, 2007:413).

In my opinion, I would rank neoclassic economics theory at the top of all powerful in explaining the reasons for migration between sending and receiving countries. The reason why I feel neoclassic economics theory best explains why migration between sending and receiving countries occurs, is that the wage difference is most attractive incentive for moving to the receiving country. The wage differences between two regions occur when there is a demand and supply gap which cannot be filled by any other source than to allow immigrants from other regions to come and fill.

On the other hand, if we look at other theories, the factors explained as reasons for migration does not powerfully support the occurrence of immigration phenomenon. In Dual Labor Theory for example, the pull factor does not seem too influential and easy to materialize because each country whether that has modern industry or not, already has some people who are not that much highly skilled to occupy the primary market. Therefore, if a country already has low skilled labor present in the region, there will be less opportunities for low skilled immigrants from other countries to migrate and work. This is also evident from the immigration policies of several technologically and industrially advanced countries like Canada and United States of America where the policies announce schemes and incentives for highly skilled immigrants only as they already have plenty of low skilled labor force. Hence the pull factor although is attractive, but not as efficient in immigration to promote or sustain as does with the wage difference. The economics of labor migration is somewhat related to the neoclassic economics theory in the sense that when the household is felt at risk, and they don’t have any other way within their geographical proximity then they decide to migrate. However, the reason is not strong enough because if the receiving country does not offer a wage difference or pull factor, there seems no point in migrating to the other country. Similarly, economic inequality as presented by Relative Deprivation Theory does not qualify for the primary reason of migration as powerfully as wage difference does. Again, further analysis can clearly explain that despite economic inequality in a region, the economically weaker people would only migrate to the regions which would offer wages higher than they can receive in their own countries in order to cope up the economic inequality within their own society.


Jennissen, Roel. 2007. “Causality Chains In the International Migration Systems Approach.” Popul Res Policy Rev Population Research and Policy Review 26(4):411–36. Retrieved May 10, 2016 (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11113-007-9039-4/fulltext.html).