Theories of Migration in and from Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: Review and Critique of Current Literature

This working paper presents an overview of the global literature on migration with a focus on rural areas. It discusses the general structure of the field of migration studies and outlines a typology of approaches found within this literature.

Different theories on migration are examined. An interesting finding is the large amount of evidence confirming the ‘mobility transition theorem’ that concludes that more development brings higher emigration and that most migrants originate from middle income countries.

The paper also pays attention to a currently prominent environment-migration-conflict nexus, which, however, so far features rather inconclusive research.