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The Internet has revolutionized our economies, societies, and everyday lives. Many social phenomena are no longer the same as they were in the pre-Internet era: they have been “Internetized.” We define the Internetization of international migra- tion, and we investigate it by exploring the links between the Internet and migration outcomes all along the migration path, from migration intentions to actualmigration. Our analyses leverage a number ofsources, both at the micro- and the macro-level, including the Gallup World Poll, the Arab Barometer, data from the International Telecommunication Union, the Italian population register, and unique register data from a migrant reception center in Southern Italy. We also distinguish between eco- nomic migrants—those who leave their country oforigin with the aim ofseeking bet- ter economic opportunities elsewhere—and political migrants—those who are forced to leave their countries oforigin for political or conflict-related reasons. Our findings point to a consistently positive relationship between the diffusion ofthe Internet, mi- gration intentions, and migration behaviors, supporting the idea that the Internet is not necessarily a driving force ofmigration per se, but rather an enabling “support- ive agent.” These associations are particularly relevant for economic migrants, at least for migration intentions. Further analyses underscore the importance ofthe Internet in providing a key informational channel which helps to define clearer migration trajectories.
Pesando, L. M., Rotondi, V., Stranges, M., Kashyap, R., & Billari, F. C. (2020). The Internetization of International Migration. Population and Development Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/padr.12371