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By exploring countries’ transition from colony to independence, this new IMI / DEMIG working paper presents a conceptual framework to examine how origin states shape international migration.

It is often argued that migration patterns of countries which recently gained independence share a common migration preference towards the former colonial state. Evidence shows, however, that in some cases there has been a large diversification of destination countries since independence and that migration is not automatically directed towards the former colonising state.

In this paper, author Simona Vezzoli presents a framework to better understand how the state shapes international migration, particularly in origin countries. Specifically, Vezzoli argues that the timing of independence and the introduction of border controls matters greatly in affecting post-colonial migration patterns.