Migration Sequences

Who Moves Back and Who Moves On?

by Julie DaVanzo, Peter A. Morrison


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Most moves that people make are not first moves, but repeat moves that form sequences of migration. This study is a first step toward conceptualizing, analyzing, and theorizing about such sequences and, by extension, types of repeat moves. Central questions posed are: Why do people migrate initially? Why do many migrate repeatedly thereafter? Why do some migrants move onward to new locations, whereas others return to some place where they had lived before? The policy implications of the findings center on two matters: the effects of repeat (and especially return) migration on the local economy and labor force in areas to which migrants move (back); and strategies for strengthening migration's personal economic effectiveness.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.