Carnegie Mellon University

Political Economy of International Migration

Course Number: 84-615

International migration - the movement of people across national borders - is a defining political and economic phenomenon of our time. Rising social and political conflict over migration - not just in advanced democracies but also in the Global South - means that understanding the causes and consequences of international migration is more important than ever. Using analytic frameworks and real-world evidence from political science, economics, and related fields, this course gives students a full understanding of the political economy of international migration. By the end of the course, students will be able to answer questions like: why do people migrate? How do they choose where to go? How do migrants re-engage with their homelands? Students will also explore migration's political and economic consequences, like backlash against immigration and "brain drain" (or gain). In the process, the course will grapple with how countries set their immigration policies and whether migration benefits or harms natives. Students will use real-world quantitative data to uncover their own insights on the drivers and impacts of international migration.



Academic Year: 2022-2023
Semester(s): Spring
Required/Elective: Elective
Units: 12
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to 1) identify primary causes and consequences of international migration in both historical and modern perspective, including refugee flows and irregular migration, 2) articulate why countries choose certain immigration policies, 3) draw theoretical links between international migration and other global economic flows, such as international trade and foreign investment, 4) apply theoretical knowledge to real-world quantitative migration data, and 5) further develop their research skills and ability to use modern statistical methods.
Ben Helms

Spring 2023
Monday and Wednesday
9:30-10:50 AM

Counts toward the following IPS degree:
MS International Relations and Politics (International Relations concentration)