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Welcome to the migration seminar

From Aspiration to Action:
Quantifying Migratory Capability Using A Linear-Nonlinear Mixed Approach


Haodong Qi, Researcher, MIM, Malmö University


Migration is often conceptualized as a function of two distinctive inputs: aspiration and capability. However, measuring these inputs are not straightforward; conventional migration statistics only provide information on actual mobility, but not migration intentions and capability. This essentially precludes systematic research on how migrants are self-selected in terms of their aspirations and how capable they are to realize the desired movements.

This article introduces a Linear-Nonlinear Mixed (LNM) approach to quantify people’s capability to migrate. Using the Google-based measure of migration aspiration and EUROSTAT data on first-time asylum applications, we demonstrate how our LNM approach can capture the process in which migratory capability evolves. Specifically, we show that the relationship between migration intentions and actual mobility is highly nonlinear for the flows from Syria to Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands during 2010-2019. These findings suggest that Syrians’ capability to migrate are likely to be reinforced by many factors that are typically unobserved, such as social interactions, diffusion of information, and/or the establishment of migration networks and channels.


This is a hybrid seminar, you are welcome to connect via Zoom

or join us at MIM seminar room, floor 9, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1. To attend on campus, please gather by the reception area at 14.10.

If you have any questions, send an email