QuantMig - Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policies
Point of Contact
Daniela Vono de Vilhena
Deputy Executive Secretary of Population Europe, currently leading the outreach activities for the QuantMig project.
What Is QuantMig
The project QuantMig - Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy - has been awarded with a three-year grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation framework (H2020-EU.184.108.40.206. - Trusted organisations, practices, services and policies that are necessary to build resilient, inclusive, participatory, open and creative societies in Europe, in particular taking into account migration, integration and demographic change).
Join QuantMig’s session at the IPC: Session 111 on Wednesday, December 8, 13:00 - 14:30 UTC
Migration is complex and uncertain. To be effective, migration policies need to explicitly acknowledge these two features of contemporary mobility. This is especially crucial as migration remains a top policy priority area across Europe, with many policy actions being proposed and implemented for different types of flows on the voluntary-forced migration continuum.
Comprehensive quantitative scenarios offer an excellent analytical tool for exploring different migration futures, as long as they explicitly acknowledge the complexity and uncertainty of the processes they aim to represent. Preparedness for various migration contingencies requires using appropriate analytical tools for addressing the challenges posed by the barely predictable nature of migration flows. Such tools need to be characterised by high levels of both conceptual and technical sophistication, and at the same time, their results need to be easy to comprehend and communicate to facilitate uptake by stakeholders. Drawing on the unique expertise of its consortium members, QuantMig will deliver such tools, providing bespoke solutions for describing, explaining and managing migration.
The project will achieve its overarching aim by advancing the methodology of scenario generation and by furthering the understanding of conceptual foundations of European migration flows. The knowledge base for scenarios will include a comprehensive review of key migration drivers in origin, destination and transit countries, with particular focus on mobility of third-country nationals, various aspects and stages of migrant decision making, and on the characteristics of prospective migrants. Additionally, we will derive a distinctive set of custom-made harmonised statistical estimates of migration flows. We will also develop and apply rigorous and innovative methods for simulating migration flows, describing scenario uncertainty, and providing early warnings.
Specific objectives and work packages
The eleven specific objectives of QuantMig and the associated work packages (WPs) are as follows:
Objective 1. To review the state of the art in forward-looking analysis of the ever-evolving migration processes, and to build a unique and comprehensive framework for the conceptual foundations of quantitative scenarios (WP1).
Objective 2. To carry out a comprehensive analysis of the drivers of European migration, providing input for scenarios from the point of view of the origin countries, with focus on the multifaceted nature of flows and their drivers, across the different levels, from macro to micro (WP2).
Objective 3. To examine migrant ‘pull’ factors at the countries of destination taking into account the inter-dependencies between destinations, as well as the impact of traditional economic and non-economic drivers (WP3).
Objective 4. To assess the drivers of migration within Europe, with a special focus on third-country nationals, their onward mobility, temporary and transit migration, and the types of European regions with respect to their migration patterns (WP4).
Objective 5. To collate available data on European migration, mobility and its drivers, and provide a dedicated quality assessment, aiming to describe the patterns and dynamics over the period 1990-2020 (WP5).
Objective 6. To develop a method for estimating European migration flows based on the available data, with uncertainty assessment, and to apply it to creating a custom-made, harmonised dataset (WP6).
Objective 7. To develop plausible scenarios of future migration into and within Europe based on the information on drivers, to assess their probability based on expert opinions elicited via a vignette study (WP7).
Objective 8. To build and test a dynamic microsimulation model for future European migration to guide policy response to future demographic shifts, and create a model environment for generating and analysing what-if scenarios (WP8).
Objective 9. To develop innovative methodology for dealing with migration uncertainty across a range of time horizons, from early warnings for the short-term migration events, to uncertain scenarios over longer time perspectives (WP9).
Objective 10. To integrate the other results of the project by developing tools for providing specific policy and planning simulations and visualisation tools, and to prepare scenario results for online dissemination (WP10).
Objective 11. To effectively disseminate the findings of QuantMig through a variety of communication channels, including a dedicated app, policy events and webinars, ensuring a lasting online presence and legacy of the project (WP11).
These eleven objectives, facilitated by a dedicated management and communication work package (WP12), will also underpin the impact and exploitation plans and specific impact generating activities. By developing the scenarios in continuous dialogue with key users and stakeholders, QuantMig will deliver a range of tools, which are directly applicable to policy support. The outputs – open data and models, accessible interactive tools and visualisations, and a range of simulations for migration policy and planning – will ensure significant impact and a lasting project legacy.
QuantMig Data Inventory
QuantMig Data Inventory provides an overview of what data on migration stocks and flows is available in Europe and can assist users in making the right choices in what dataset to choose in order to answer their migration-related research question.
Translating migration theory into empirical propositions
This report sets out to translate migration theory into empirically testable propositions. Drawing actively on elements from different corners of the fragmented landscape of migration theory, we formulate ten propositions, selected based on their relevance to current societal and academic debates on international migration, its dynamics and patterns.
Migration Decision-Making and its key Dimensions
This article elaborates on four dimensions considered as critical in approaching the complex process of migration decision-making: first, the formation of migration aspirations, second, the cognitive rules for searching and evaluating information about migratory options, third, the timing and planning horizons for preparing and realizing migratory decisions, and fourth, the locus of control and degree of agency in taking migration decisions. Based on a review of the current state of evidence, we identify avenues for future empirical research addressing knowledge gaps along these key dimensions of migration decision-making
Survey instruments and survey data on migration aspirations
In this report, we first present a systematic survey compilation of 212 surveys that have collected data on migration aspirations. This is the first of its kind, providing an inventory of existing data to encourage further use and inform future research. Second, we contribute a comprehensive question bank of survey items that have been used to measure various dimensions of migration aspirations. The collection includes, first and foremost, 276 questions that relate directly to the matter of migrating or not, such as ‘Do you have any wish to move within the next year?’, ‘Are you planning to emigrate?’, and ‘Do you expect to live in your community in five years?’. Third, we use the question bank to elaborate on previous work on the conceptual analysis of survey question on migration aspirations. We break down the variation between the 276 survey items into a small number of components which help clarify what, exactly, is being asked about. These distinctions help set priorities for survey instruments, quality assure translations, and improve the quality of data analysis.
QuantMig: The emigration decision process – Foundations for modellin
This report offers discussions on 1- systems theory; 2- core elements of theories of action drawing from the behavioural and social sciences perspective; 3- consequences of actions and utilities attached to actions, and 4- process theories of action are briefly covered.
Brexit Uncertainty and UK Migration: Should I Go?
This study examines the impact of policy uncertainty on migration. Using the Brexit referendum as a quasi-experimental setting, we study the causal impact of policy uncertainty on migration flows and migrant stocks in the UK as well as on the attractiveness of other EU countries as destinations. We employ a difference-in-difference strategy and compare EU migration to non-EU migration before and after the UK referendum of June 2016. Our results show that the policy uncertainty (i) reduced migration inflows from the EU to the UK, (ii) increased emigration of EU migrants from the UK and (iii) reduced the increase in EU migrant stock in the UK. However, there were no spillover impacts on the attractiveness of other EU countries as migration destinations. Overall, the findings show that policy uncertainty has had negative impact on migration in the UK.
Expert opinion on migration data
The aim of this report is to answer the following research question: how well do publicly available statistics on international migration for European countries, more in particular statistics on international migration from national statistical agencies, reflect the true migration flows? We have attempted to answer this question by eliciting expert opinions on measurement accuracy and undercount. During the summer and autumn of 2020, we carried out a two-round Delphi survey among 15 migration experts, preceded by a pilot survey with eight participants. The online questionnaire included questions on measurement accuracy of migration data from population registration systems and from migrant surveys, on possible undercount of immigration and emigration flows, and on the assumed impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on European migration flows.
Conceptualisation and Analysis of Migration Uncertainty: Insights from Macroeconomics
In this study, we provide a background discussion and a proposal of methods for quantifying migration-associated uncertainty across a range of time horizons, which cover both prediction and scenarios of migration in the mid- to long-term, as well as early warning systems in the short term.
Uncertainty in Migration Scenarios
In this report, we propose ways of looking at the uncertainty of migration forecasts and scenarios across a range of time horizons, through the lens of macroeconomic modelling.
Quality assessment of European migration data
The aim of this report is to assess the quality of migration flows data in Europe compiled by Eurostat between 2009 and 2019. The work is guided by two main questions: to what extent has comparability and completeness of Eurostat migration data between countries improved over time; and how are things standing now?
QuantMig - Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policies
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