Cross-border migration is a visible reflection of global inequalities. Much literature deals with the link between migration and inequalities indirectly, often through topics such as migration and development or the integration of migrants. Surprisingly, little research addresses directly the role of social inequalities. This gap raises at least two major questions: First, how do social inequalities affect opportunities for cross-border migration for different socioeconomic groups? Second, conversely, how do the outcomes of migration affect social inequalities in global patterns of distribution and in life chances in the countries of emigration and of immigration? Of ultimate interest is whether migration buttresses the dominant forms of social stratification or transforms the distribution of valued goods in a fundamental way. Overall, this review suggests that cross-border migration both constitutes a path to upward social mobility for migrants and tends to reinforce durable inequalities on a deeper level.


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