Linking Violence and Migration and Individual and Household Safety and Well-Being



National Science Foundation

Grant Number


Principal Investigator

Mike Massoglia | University of Wisconsin–Madison | Department of Sociology

Co-Principal Investigators

Malia Jones | University of Wisconsin–Madison | Applied Population Lab
Jenna Nobles | University of Wisconsin–Madison | Department of Sociology


The project is a study of the violence-migration relationship in communities across Latin America and the United States. All levels of the relationship are considered: individual decision making, characteristics of sending and receiving communities, and how migration patterns link communities together. The central questions address the migration behavior of individuals and households and how migration patterns affect both sending and receiving communities. The research extends the empirical and conceptual literatures across a range of substantive areas including crime, demography, migration, neighborhood studies, and network analysis. The broader impacts of the study include understanding questions of interest to policy makers and scholars, particularly those seeking to understand how migration hinders or increases safety. In addition, the project will support the development of a collaborative interdisciplinary research network and the training of future researchers.

This project creates a comprehensive multilevel and multinational data file spanning twenty years that links aggregate data on migration and safety to a wealth of individual, household, and community data. Innovative modeling techniques allow for 1) an assessment of the relationship between migration and changes (improvements or reductions) in safety in receiving communities, 2) an examination of if and how migration networks are associated with spatiotemporal patterns in crime, 3) specific tests for individual, family, and community variability in the responsiveness of migration to changes in perceptions of safety, as well as 4) a consideration of how safety and migration can change and re-shape sending communities. Network-based and spatial econometric tools overcome several methodological issues identified in earlier work.