Theoretical Perspectives: Economics, Culture, Politics

  • Steven G. Koven
  • Frank Götzke
Part of the Public Administration, Governance and Globalization book series (PAGG, volume 1)


A variety of theoretical perspectives provide insight into immigration. Economics, which assumes that actors engage in utility maximization, represents one framework. From this perspective, it is assumed that individuals are rational actors, i.e., that they make migration decisions based on their assessment of the costs as well as benefits of remaining in a given area versus the costs and benefits of leaving. Benefits may include but are not limited to short-term and long-term monetary gains, safety, and greater freedom of cultural expression. Individual costs include but are not limited to the expense of travel, uncertainty of living in a foreign land, difficulty of adapting to a different language, uncertainty about a different culture, and the trepidation about living in a new land. Psychic costs associated with separation from family, friends, and the fear of the unknown also should be taken into account in cost-benefit assessments.


Host Country Home Country Immigration Policy Secondary Sector Family Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Studies Institute, University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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