Measuring and comparing immigration, asylum and naturalization policies across countries

challenges and solutions

Justin Gest, Anna Boucher, Suzanna Challen, Brian Burgoon, Eiko Thielemann, Michel Beine, Patrick Mcgovern, Mary Crock, Hillel Rapoport, Michael Hiscox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


Academics and policy makers require a better understanding of the variation of policies that regulate global migration, asylum and immigrant naturalization. At present, however, there is no comprehensive cross-national, time-series database of such policies, rendering the analysis of policy trends across and within these areas difficult at best. Several new immigration databases and indices have been developed in recent years. However, there is no consensus on how best to conceptualize, measure and aggregate migration policy indicators to allow for meaningful comparisons through time and across space. This article discusses these methodological challenges and introduces practical solutions that involve historical, multi-dimensional, disaggregated and transparent conceptualizing, measuring and compiling of cross-national immigration policies. Such an approach informs the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-274
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


Cite this

Gest, J., Boucher, A., Challen, S., Burgoon, B., Thielemann, E., Beine, M., ... Hiscox, M. (2014). Measuring and comparing immigration, asylum and naturalization policies across countries: challenges and solutions. Global Policy, 5(3), 261-274.