The number of hypothesis trying to explain which are the reasons behind the decision to migrate to work into a developed country are diverse and at the same time, difficult to test due to the multiplicity of factors which affect it. This papers attempts to move forward trying to disentangle which are the socio-economic factors that explain the differences in the figures of immigrants in the OECD countries. We show empirical evidence about the determinants of the migratory flows to 17 OECD countries from 65 countries in the 1980-2000 period. Our results reveal the importance to differentiate the inflows composition by at least income in the origin countries. Thus, regarding inflows from non-high-income countries, the results suggest that there is a pull effect from monetary and not real income, and then, the welfare magnets hypothesis should be rejected. This group reacts more to the migratory policy than the inflows coming from high-income countries, although those policies designed to slow down the inflows have not been able, in the aggregate, to reduce them.
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