WP1: Structural Determinants of Migration Crises.

Structural Determinants of Migration Crises.

This Work Package explores the structural determinants of migration ‘crises’. Migration crises are frequently conceived of, and responded to, as temporary, abnormal shocks to sending, receiving, and transit countries. The determinants of migration crisis are thus often overlooked by policy approaches that treat the symptom rather than the underlying determinants through reactive, emergency responses. This is perhaps why what we call ‘migration crisis’ is, in fact, becoming the new normal both within and outside of Europe. In this Work Package, we examine macro-level factors leading to this seemingly perpetual state of crisis, and which explain the structural dimensions of the so-called ‘crises’.

Partners Involved :University of Liège (Lead), Sciences Po, EUBA, Sabanci University.


In this framework paper for WP1, Başak Yavçan (ULiège) outlines the methodology to measure migratory crises and assesses the structural determinants of these crisis as a way to produce future scenarios.

This deliverable from Başak Yavçan (ULiège) quantifies crisis in terms of numbers of rapid increases of outflows from countries of origin for a time period of 1960-2015 based on Abel (2017)’s migration stock to flow conversions and explores the impact of socio-economic drivers on these migratory movements across time, globally. Based on both origin country focused and gravity models with a dyadic focus, this working paper demonstrates the statistically significant effect of different socio-economic drivers such as poverty, inequality as well as the non-linear impact of GDP on crisis migrations, while also controlling for the effect of different demographic and political conflict related drivers.

This deliverable from Başak Yavçan (ULiège) builds on the previous one on quantifying “crisis migration” and aims to lay out the impact of various demographic drivers on these migratory movements via country of origin based and relational focuses dyadic models across the world for the years 1960 to 2015. With many demographic drivers showing statistically significant impact especially through being pull factors in destination countries, the results contribute to the discussion on the role of urbanization, labor market characteristics and human development indicators in important ways. 

Building on the previous three outputs of this work package, this deliverable from Başak Yavçan (ULiège) aims to lay out the impact of both rapid onset and slow onset environmental changes on migratory movements, and in particular on critical increases in flows of migration, using Abel’s stock data to flow data conversions with 5-year intervals for the period of 1960-2015. The results are mixed and further confirm the importance of mediating effects of environmental changes. First, differentiating rapid onset changes based on their impact provides a more nuanced approach and underlines the importance of resilience and capabilities due to disasters’ growth reducing impacts.  With regards to slow onset changes, the results reassert the relatively more important role of temperature as compared to precipitation (measured as variability) and contribute to the discussion on the conditional role of agriculture dependency, economic growth, and urbanization on environmentally induced migration.