GLOBMIG has assembled a team of economists, demographers, lawyers, and computer scientists around three objectives:

  • to gain understanding of the long-run root drivers of international migration and of their complex interactions with the socio-demographic, climatic, institutional and economic environments

  • to produce integrated projections of migration, population, and global inequality

  • to use the knowledge base to assess the effectiveness and policy coherence of the legal framework

Despite considerable improvements in the recent literature, little is known about the root drivers of long-run trends in the size and structure of migration, about the interplay between internal and international migrations, or about the effects of policy reforms on migration flows and about their coherence with other policies. GLOBMIG aims at shedding light on these issues. It goes beyond the state of the art in combining traditional and innovative sources of data (e.g., big data on cell-phone owners’ mobility, worldwide opinion surveys on migration intentions, geo-referenced data on population changes, comparative data on immigration laws and policies), and in developing new methodologies for processing and analyzing them (e.g., data mining, machine learning, migration accounting models).

Work packages

The project is divided into five work packages:

  • Migration accounting model

    Central to the first phase is the construction of a Migration Accounting model which has been used to explain past historical migration flows and to predict future flows between all countries of the world. Considering skill-specific migration stocks between all country pairs as a variable of interest, our methodology allows identifying the root causes of past migration trends over the post-WW2 period, and quantifying the fraction of the variability in migration stocks that is explained by each driver.

  • Innovative data sources

    Given the paucity of the literature on the interplay between internal and international migrations, new approaches and methodologies are needed. GLOBMIG explores these links through innovative data sources to gain understanding of migration patterns at a very detailed spatial scale. These include worldwide Gallup data on migration intentions by administrative region, and other gridded databases that are publicly available such as NASA data on earth population density, and other geo-referenced data on conflicts, anthropogenic global warming, nighttime light intensity, terrain ruggedness, soil fertility, transportation infrastructure. Although these analyses must be considered as explorative, these new sources of data can dramatically enhance the knowledge on global migration patterns.

  • Inventory and assessment of European laws and policies

    This WP provides a critical assessment of the past reforms of the European legal and institutional framework on migration. We first produced and articulated an inventory and a historical timeline of the different legal tools adopted by European institutions to gradually limit and manage immigration “pressures” since the 1980s. Our proposed timeline is not only a historical presentation of the evolution of the legal framework; it is multidimensional timeline that involves institutional (legal texts), material (legal norms), organizational (agencies) aspects. The analysis of the legal framework and of its evolution has been conducted in light of the most significant institutional and political changes in the structure of the European Union. Important milestones in this evolution are the gradual enlargement of the European Union, the changes in the discipline of the allocation of competences between Member States and the Union, and the creation of new agencies and institutional bodies with a specific mandate to deal with migration-related issues (Frontex and EASO above all). These developments played a substantial role in the process of gradual definition of common policies and actions with regard to the management of migration flows.

  • Modeling the interplay between internal and international migrations

    In this operation phase, we capitalized on the findings of the designing phase, and explored issues in the forefront of the policy and academic debates. The general migration accounting model of WP-I has been extended to account for the interplay between internal and international migrations. Our multi-country model has been extended to distinguish between agricultural/rural and nonagricultural/urban sectors, and to model labor mobility between them. The extended model can be used to predict the mobility responses to armed conflicts of different duration and intensity, to climatic shocks (temporary weather anomalies, global rise in temperature or in the sea level), to increasing productivity gaps between sector, or to development policies (monetary transfers, investments in physical capital, education or public infrastructure, etc.).

  • Visualization, exploitation and dissemination tools

    GLOBMIG objectives and outputs are of interest to many non-academic stakeholders such as policymakers, think-tanks, journalists, international institutions, etc. The consortium wants to maximize its impact by broadly disseminating its datasets, papers and projections, and by making them accessible to a wide audience. Studying migration requires a powerful microscope to understand and explore the data. We believe this microscope can be made of adequate visualization tools to explore the data in depth. This web platform will create the conditions for a sustainable multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on addressing the global challenges of migration.