A practitioners' guide to gravity models of international migration Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2016

start page

  • 496

end page

  • 512


  • 4


  • 39

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0378-5920

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9701


  • The use of bilateral data for the analysis of international migration is at the same time a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because the dyadic dimension of the data allows researchers to address a number of previously unanswered questions, but it is also a curse for the various analytical challenges it gives rise to. This paper presents the theoretical foundations of the estimation of gravity models of international migration, and the main difficulties that have to be tackled in the econometric analysis, such as the nature of migration data, how to account for multilateral resistance to migration or endogeneity. We also review some empirical evidence that has considered these issues. The authors are grateful to the guest editor Frederic Docquier, to Tobias MEurosuller and to an anonymousreferee for their accurate reading of our paper. We also thank other participants in the Conference on'International labour mobility and inequality across nations' held in Clermont-Ferrand in January 2014;this paper benefited from the financial support of the FERDI (Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherchessur le Developpement International) and of the programme 'Investissements d'Avenir' (ANR-10-LABX-14-01) of the French government; Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga received financial support from theECO2008-04785 and ECO2012-39412 projects funded by the Spanish Ministry for Economics andCompetitiveness


  • Economics


  • emigration-immigration; gravity model; endogeneity; international economic relations; stocks