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Concepts, Definitions and Data Collection Approaches


Bilsborrow, Richard E. (2016). Concepts, Definitions and Data Collection Approaches.. White, Michael J. (Ed.) (pp. 109-156). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media.


This Handbook offers a comprehensive collection of essays that cover essential features of geographical mobility, from internal migration, to international migration, to urbanization, to the adaptation of migrants in their destinations. Part I of the collection introduces the range of theoretical perspectives offered by several social science disciplines, while also examining the crucial relationship between internal and international migration. Part II takes up methods, ranging from how migration data are best collected to contemporary techniques for analyzing such data. Part III of the handbook contains summaries of present trends across all world regions. Part IV rounds out the volume with several contributions assessing pressing issues in contemporary policy areas. The volume’s editor Michael J. White has spent a career studying the pattern and process of internal and international migration, urbanization and population distribution in a wide variety of settings, from developing societies to advanced economies. In this Handbook he brings together contributors from all parts of the world, gathering in this one volume both geographical and substantive expertise of the first rank. The Handbook will be a key reference source for established scholars, as well as an invaluable high-level introduction to the most relevant topics in the field for emerging scholars. Chapter: In the sections in this chapter, internal migration will generally be considered first, prior to international migration, though when possible both will be covered together. The Section “Common existing sources of data, limitations and prospects for making them more useful” briefly describes the major existing national sources of data on migration, internal and international, the continuing lack of adequate data, the limitations of the major sources of data, prospects for adding questions on migration to existing data sources, and the need for specialized surveys, particularly to understand the determinants or consequences of migration. The Section “Aspects of survey design for specialized surveys of migration” describes how such surveys should be designed, and the need to consider “appropriate comparison groups”. Section “Sampling in surveys of migration” deals with sample design for specialized migration surveys—viz., given the “rare elements” problem characteristic of migration surveys, how to design probability samples for efficient data collection. Alternative approaches to data collection are also adduced, along with a few examples of innovative survey approaches. Then section “Questionnaire content and design” confronts several key issues of questionnaire design and format for collecting data on migration from surveys. The Section “Some special methodological issues related to migration data collection” considers a number of exciting— largely unresolved or neglected—methodological issues in the field, followed by an attempt to draw together several broad conclusions in section “Conclusions.”


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International Handbooks of Population


Bilsborrow, Richard E.