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This paper explores how people make migration decisions. After a review of the rich literature and models that capture the factors, mechanisms, and phases of migration decision-making, this paper presents the Temporal Multilevel Analysis (TMA) framework, which examines how people decide whether to stay or migrate as their personal and societal situations change. The TMA framework explores how people perceive social change, and their role within it, with the goal of identifying under what contextual and personal circumstances people choose to migrate. The framework proposes a two-level comparative model that explores people’s perceptions of their social and personal circumstances, and investigates the role of social norms and values, with the understanding that these are fundamental yet relatively understudied influences on a decision to stay or migrate. The TMA framework also integrates a time dimension to explore how changing views about the past, present, and future influence mobility choices. This document should be read as an introduction to the TMA framework, which will be further refined through its application in empirical research through the PACES project.



Working paper

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migration decision-making, social change, life course, migration models