The economical and sociological literature is reviewed in order to find its fallacies in distinguishing between new and old features of internal migration flows. Economists have stressed wage rigidity to explain the low migration propensity of people living in southern Italy observed until the 90s, while some sociologists followed Human Capital theory to indicate the brain-drain as the new and main characteristic of internal migrations. The results presented in the paper contrast with the mainstream findings. The sources used for the analysis are two longitudinal databases on Italian labour market: ILFI and WHIP. In opposition with the former approaches, the authors identify the circular form as the new character of internal migrations. The circular form of internal migration is explained as the outcome of labour market changes during the last decades. It is also shown that the high skilled character of migration represents a constant that characterizes both old and new internal migrations.
Keywords: Internal migration, circular migration, human capital theory, wage rigidity, brain-drain