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International Migration and Development

  • Hania Zlotnik
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter presents newly derived estimates of net migration flows by origin and destination spanning the four decades between 1960 and 2010. These estimates support the proposition that the economic development process itself tends to stimulate migration. Thus, low-income countries, where the development process is lagging behind, are the least likely sources of international migrants, whereas countries where the development process is more advanced, including both middle-income and certain high-income countries, are more likely to be important sources of international migrants. The estimates also corroborate the growing importance of “south-to-north” migration and show that migration among developed countries, far from ceasing, has been on the rise. This chapter then describes the most influential economic theories guiding research on international migration and development, and reviews research on the linkages between the selectivity of international migration and wages, and on the impact of remittances on developing countries. In receiving countries of the developed world, most of which have been increasingly selecting migrants on the basis of skills, the impact of recent migration on wages has tended to be small and largely beneficial. Because skilled persons seek high absolute wages, rich countries attract them, often to the detriment of countries of origin, particularly developing countries with small populations where the stock of skilled persons was small to start with. The boom in global remittances associated with high emigration from middle-income to high-income countries has been contributing to improve the livelihoods of millions of people. The studies reviewed show that remittances not only ensure a satisfactory level of consumption for their recipients and their families, but are also used to improve agricultural productivity or to invest in small or micro-enterprises. In several contexts, remittances increase the school enrollment of children in households with migrants abroad. More generally, remittances boost household incomes and reduce poverty.

Keywords

Net migration trends Labor migration Remittances Migration selectivity Migration and development 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hania Zlotnik
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ConsultantNew YorkUSA

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