The Implications of Migration Theory for Distributive Justice

  • Alex Sager

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of empirical theories of migration for normative accounts of migration and distributive justice. It examines neo-classical economics, world-systems theory, dual labor market theory, and feminist approaches to migration and contends that neo-classical economic theory in isolation provides an inadequate understanding of migration. Other theories provide a fuller account of how national and global economic, political, and social institutions cause and shape migration flows by actively affecting people's opportunity sets in source countries and by admitting people according to social categories such as class and gender. These empirical theories reveal the causal impact of institutions regulating migration and clarify moral obligations frequently overlooked by normative theorists.