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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Political, Economic and Social Agent Based Model of Migration (MAPES)

  • Author(s): Lim, Daniel Kibum
  • Advisor(s): Thies, Michael
  • et al.

In this study, I present and validate the first version of MAPES, an agent-based model (ABM) that facilitates the study of international migration (IM) by providing a framework within which theories from different fields can be easily modeled and reconciled. To validate this model, I examine three scenarios that test the capabilities of the model and provide opportunities to make substantive contributions to the field of international migration studies. I use the first of these scenarios, the bilateral economic gradient scenario, to show how rational decisionmaking by individuals gives rise to anti-immigrant sentiment and the flow patterns predicted by macro-economic migration theory. The second scenario, which I call the trilateral equal scenario, exhibits the theoretical phenomenon of path dependence, in which small random changes lead to large differences in migration system outcomes. Finally, I use a scenario that models the real-world border between Mexico and the US to predict the impacts of raising the cost of border crossings from south to north. Through these efforts, I show that MAPES is a research tool which can used to make valuable contributions to the field of IM studies.

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