Book Chapter

The decision to emigrate: a simulation model based on the theory of planned behaviour

Willekens, F. J.
In: Grow, A., van Bavel, J. (Eds.): Agent-based modelling in population studies: concepts, methods, and applications, 257–299
The Springer series on demographic methods and population analysis 41
Cham, Springer (2017)


The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is one of the most widely used theories of behaviour. It was developed by Ajzen as an extension of Fishbein’s theory of reasoned action (Fishbein and Ajzen, Predicting and changing behaviour. Psychology Press, New York, 2010). The theory states that intentions predict behaviour and intentions are shaped by beliefs. In the paper, the theory of planned behaviour is extended to a process theory and that theory is used to specify a micro-simulation model of emigration decision-making. The validity of the model is assessed by determining how well the model predicts stylized facts about international migration.

Keywords: decision making, international migration, microsimulation
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.