We live in a connected world with unequal access to resources and large disparities. The root-cause of migration is the unequal geographic distribution of resources and opportunities. The ownership of resources, predominantly natural resources, and the protection of that ownership give rise to policies and actions to prevent trespassing by putting up signs, barriers, authorization schemes, etc. The unequal distribution of human resources required to add value to raw products and to develop a service economy gives rise to global quest for talent and a variety of recruitment policies.
The study of migration addresses the questions of why people migrate (motives), who migrates (selectivity), how people arrive at the decision to leave or stay, and what the consequences of migration are for individuals, families, communities, and society-at-large at origin, destination and transit (so what question). To better understand the motives of migration and predict how individuals and families respond to policy measures and other signals, we must focus on the migration decision process. The interest in the decision process is not new. Rossi (1955), Wolpert (1965) and the authors in the book edited by De Jong and Gardner (1981) shaped the research decades ago. Their findings received little attention in migration research, but that is changing due to a growing dissatisfaction of migration scholars with the way migration research evolved over the years.