Theories of Migration: Critical Review in the Context of the EU East-West Flows

Best Participant Essay Series, CARIM - EUI, 2009

30 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2011

See all articles by Lucia Mytna Kurekova

Lucia Mytna Kurekova

Slovak Governance Institute; Central European University

Date Written: June 6, 2009


This paper critically reviews theories of migration in the context of EU East-West flows. In addition to outlining the weaknesses of the dominant approaches, it also reviews migration theorizing more generally and synthesizes current suggestions on how to advance migration theorizing. The paper empirically tests the neoclassical paradigm on the actual data of after-accession labor mobility from the EU8 countries to the UK and Ireland. It argues that the neoclassical theory of migration struggles to account for significantly different rates of outmigration from CEE countries which share relatively similar living standards and wage differentials relative to Western Europe. The analysis help to support the conceptual critique of this theory and to emphasize the need to incorporate country-specific institutional and structural variables into migration research while analyzing migration as part of broader global processes and socio-economic change.

Keywords: CEE, labor migration, migration theory, wage differentials

Suggested Citation

Mytna Kurekova, Lucia, Theories of Migration: Critical Review in the Context of the EU East-West Flows (June 6, 2009). Best Participant Essay Series, CARIM - EUI, 2009. Available at SSRN:

Lucia Mytna Kurekova (Contact Author)

Slovak Governance Institute ( email )

Gajova 4
Bratislava, 81109

Central European University ( email )

Nador utca 9
Budapest, H-1051

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics