Looking for a better future: modeling migrant mobility

Saa, I.L., Novak, M., Morales, A.J. et al. Looking for a better future: modeling migrant mobility. Appl Netw Sci 5, 70 (2020).


Massive migrations have become increasingly prevalent over the last decades. A recent example is the Venezuelan migration crisis across South America, which particularly affects neighboring countries like Colombia. Creating an effective response to the crisis is a challenge for governments and international agencies, given the lack of information about migrants’ location, flows and behaviors within and across host countries. For this purpose it is crucial to map and understand geographic patterns of migration, including spatial mobility and dynamics over time. The aim of this paper is to uncover mobility and economic patterns of migrants that left Venezuela and migrated into Colombia due to the effects of the ongoing social, political and economic crisis. We analyze and compare the behavior of two types of migrants: Venezuelan refugees and Colombian nationals who used to live in Venezuela and return to their home country. We adapt the gravity model for human mobility in order to explain migrants’ dispersion across Colombia, and analyze patterns of economic integration. This study is a first attempt at analyzing and comparing two kinds of migrant populations in one destination country, providing unique insight into the processes of mobility and integration after migration.

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