A fuzzy bi-level method for modeling age-specific migration
Publication date: Available online 13 November 2018
Source: Socio-Economic Planning Sciences
Author(s): Duygun Fatih Demirel, Melek Basak
Modeling and forecasting international migration are significant research areas since migration forecasts are vital in decision making and policy design regarding economy, security, society, and resource allocation. The methods for modeling and forecasting migration rely on strict subjective or statistical assumptions which may not always be met. In addition, lack of a universally accepted definition of the term “migrant” and the ambiguities in data due to recording and collection systems result in inconsistencies and vagueness in migration modeling. Considering these, in this paper, a fuzzy bi-level age-specific migration modeling method is proposed. The bi-level structure embedded in the model makes use of the well-known Lee-Carter method as well as fuzzy regression, singular value decomposition technique, and hierarchical clustering to reflect the general characteristics of the country of concern together with the distinct emigration and immigration behaviors of the age groups. Bayesian time series models are fitted to the time-variant fuzzy parameters obtained through the proposed method to forecast future migration values. The proposed method is applied on female and male age-specific emigration and immigration counts of Finland for 1990–2010 period and Germany for 1995–2012 period, and the future values are forecasted for 2011–2025 and 2013–2025 respectively. The method is compared with an existing Bayesian approach and the numerical findings display that the proposed fuzzy method is superior to the existing one in modeling and forecasting age-specific migration values within significantly narrower prediction intervals.