Migration Impact Assessment

Migration Impact Assessment

New Horizons

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Mediha Sahin

During the last few decades the world has experienced an unprecedented level of cross-border migration. While this has generated significant socio-economic gains for host countries, as well as sometimes for the countries of origin, the costs and benefits involved are unevenly distributed. Consequently, growing global population mobility is a hotly debated topic, both in the political arena and by the general public. Amidst a plethora of facts, opinions and emotions, the assessment of migration impacts must be grounded in a solid scientific evidence base. This analytical book outlines and applies a range of the scientific methods that are currently available in migration impact assessment (MIA). The book provides various North American and European case studies that quantify socio-economic consequences of migration for host societies and for immigrants themselves.

Chapter 5: A socio-economic impact analysis of urban cultural diversity: pathways and horizons

Tüzin Baycan and Peter Nijkamp

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, regional economics, valuation, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration, regional economics


Cities are dynamic centres of human activity due to their centripetal and centrifugal agglomeration forces. They are also the geographical landmarks of human mobility, in particular migration (be it temporary or structural). Migration is one of the most studied subjects in the social and behavioural sciences (for example demography, sociology, geography, economics). Several academics speak nowadays of the ‘age of migration’, and this suggests that mankind is structurally ‘on the move’. But it ought to be recognized that, since the early history of mankind people have always exhibited nomadic behaviour. Urban settlement patterns with mass population concentrations have only been a predominant geographical phenomenon in the past few thousand years. Clearly, exogenous shocks (such as wars, natural disasters or famine) might temporarily create an intensified tendency towards geographical mobility, population spread and migration. This forms a contrast with the present, where migration is increasingly an endogenous response to normal market conditions, a phenomenon that is strongly co-determined by our open and globalizing economy, with free movement of labour (as in the EU). Europe has displayed a number of interesting demographic trends over the past centuries: in the year 1900, Europe still had a share in the world population of about 20 per cent; this share went down to some 10 per cent in the year 2000, and it will most likely be no more than 5 per cent by the end of this century.

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