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Global Economy: Migration

Fall 2006 Speakers
Dilip Ratha, Valentina Mazzucato
Previous Speakers
International migration is both a cause and a consequence of an interconnected world. About 180 million people worldwide live outside their country of birth. Future pressure for international migration will be great, driven by differences in demographics and real incomes between countries. Research shows that, although the largest economic gains from immigration accrue to the immigrants themselves, the international migration of labor can also benefit both the countries receiving immigrants and the countries sending them, and that it boosts world income and reduces poverty. In the receiving countries, migrants can fill labor shortages in certain industries. In the sending countries, they can help ease unemployment pressures and increase financial inflows, in the form of remittances from the migrants to their families back home. Remittances also help equilibrate the distribution of income. Worldwide remittances have doubled in the last decade, reaching $216 billion in 2004, according to official statistics, of which $151 billion is estimated to have gone to developing countries. Actual remittances are most likely higher, because remittances through informal channels are not counted.

The major issues surrounding international migration are how to help countries adapt to large-scale migration, and how to improve its global development impact. Equitable migration is a global concern because it is ultimately linked to other broader issues such as poverty reduction and human rights. Research on this global issue is still in its early stages, however. In 2003 the United Nations appointed a Global Commission on International Migration. This seminar will discuss the complex issues involved in international migration and remittances, such as incentives, governance, and inter-linkages with other issues.

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Background Material
Download the main paper (PDF file), and papers on Gender, Poverty & Migration (PDF file), Remittances (PDF file), and the presentations on Migrations (PPT file), Gender and MigrationRemittances and a Transnational Perspective on Migrations (PPT file).
Reading List
Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Dilip Ratha, (eds), "Remittances, Development Impact and Future Prospects", The World Bank Group
Caglar Ozden, Maurice Schiff , "International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain", The World Bank Group
Timothy J . Hatton and Jeffrey G. Williamson, The Age of Mass Migration: Causes and Economic Impact. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Adams, Richard, and Page, John, "International Migration, Remittances and Poverty in Developing Countries," Policy Research Working Paper no. 3179, 2003.
Stark, Oded, “The Economics of the Brain Drain Turned on its Head,” paper for ABCDE Europe, June 24-26, 2002, Oslo.
Yusuf, Shahid, “Globalization and the Challenge for Developing Countries,” Policy Research Working Paper no. 2168, June 2001. (Includes discussion on diasporas and trade)
African Foundation for Development, Globalisation and development: a diaspora dimension, May 2000.
Carling, Jorgen, Migrant Remittances and Development Cooperation, PRIO Report no. 1/2005, Olso: International Peace Research Institute, 2005.
Peel, Quentin, “A dynamic Europe needs immigrants,” Financial Times, March 3, 2005, p. 17.
Rapoport, Hillel, and Frèdèric Docquier, "The economics of migrants' remittances, IZA discussion paper no. 1531, Institute for the Study of Labor, 2005.
Trends in International Migration, OECD, 2003.
Usher, Erica, The Millennium Development Goals and Migration, IOM, 2005.
Mazzucato, V., B. van de Boom and N.N.N. Nsowah-Nuamah 2005. Origin and destination of remittances in Ghana. In T. Manuh (ed.) At home in the world? International migration and development in contemporary Ghana and West Africa, pp. 139-152. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers.
Mazzucato, V. 2005. Ghanaian migrants' double engagement: A transnational view of development and integration policies. Global Migration Perspectives, no. 48, 17 pp.
Vinay Bhargava. “An Introduction to Global Issues”. Paper for Global Issues Seminar Series-Fall 2005/Session # 1.
Related Links
OECD on International Migration (publications and documents)

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