According to the (World Bank, 2016), the stock of immigrants worldwide in 2013, amounted to
247.2 million individuals. This represents 3.4% of the world population. Geographic mobility of
people plays an important role in the world labor market equilibrium.
An important part of the literature investigates migration motives using data about actual migration flows, (e.g. Beine, et al. 2016). These data, however, do not allow to fully understand migration decision strategies. Observed movements of migrants
indeed result from a complex set of intertwined mechanisms: migration intentions, self-selection
and out-selection factors. Evaluating the role of one of these factors, therefore, requires a deep
understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind each of these components.
One possible way to overcome the limitation associated with the use of actual migration data is to
use data that capture directly migration intentions. We propose a novel methodology capturing a full set of “ex-ante” alternatives which might be used later on to study the way individuals form decisions. Through laboratory experiments, we will test empirically
the relevance of alternative destinations and the order of preferences related to the migration
decision. A very interesting by-product of such an approach is the evaluation of the well-known
the validity of the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) hypothesis, which is at the core of the
RUM models of international migration