Time And Areal Aggregation Problems In Estimating Migration

Tekeli, İlhan
Erder, Leila
Migration is a current topic of scholarly discussion and general interest as more and more of the world's population moves. In spite of the growing number of migration studies, the observation and measurement of migration as a social process in time and space have escaped rigorous review. This paper explores the theoretical problems of observing and measuring internal migration between administratively defined area units and over time periods specified by observation dates. Emphasis is oh understanding the way the observed units, whether as demographic or areal components, may make estimated patterns diverge from actual movement when aggregated in time and space. After reviewing both theoretical and empirical work on migration published over the past decade, time and area aggregation questions appeared to us of central importance. As Lowry has noted, mobility rates for a nation may appear strikingly stable at the highly aggregated level; the introduction of a geographical dimension for sub-national units destroys, however, these apparent regularities.1 If the researcher knows at the outset the effect dividing a large area into spatial units may have on the estimates, then it may be possible to standardize accordingly. This paper investigates how the selection of geographic boundaries and time periods determines to a large degree the estimate of movement between areas and over time. Since most studies relating migration to any set of explanatory variables have failed to giye correlation coefficients at the level of significance obtained in other areas of demography, an improved definition of space and time appear as two promising vantage points for raising the explanatory power of current models. As a general frame we have taken internal migration as it relates to national population distribution and policy; some questions are explored in more detail because of the nature of the migration phenomenon and data in developing countries. Our current research in Turkey has set this frame. All aspects are generalized, however, under the assumption that with few exceptions other study areas pose similar dilemma. The investigation is in three parts - an overview of migration as a social process and its identification from a policy standpoint; the effect of time on estimates whether as age groupings or as observation points; a dissection of the peculiarities of spatial groupings as they affect migration estimates.


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Citation Formats
İ. Tekeli and L. Erder, “Time And Areal Aggregation Problems In Estimating Migration,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 253–272, 1977, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: http://jfa.arch.metu.edu.tr/archive/0258-5316/1977/cilt03/sayi_2/253-272.pdf.