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Migration and Development

By Deepak Nayyar | September 25, 2004

The movement of people across national boundaries, which began a long time ago, is a matter of interest and an issue of concern as we enter the twenty-first century. The attention is not just a function of the present conjuncture. It is attributable to the fact that the pressures for international migration are considerable and appear to be mounting despite restrictive immigration laws. This is not surprising in a world where income disparities and population imbalances between countries are vast, while the spread of education combined with the revolution in transport has led to a significant increase in the mobility of labour. Yet, this remains a relatively unexplored theme in the extensive literature on the world economy. The object of this paper is to focus on international migration so as to outline the contours, examine the underlying factors, explore the implications of globalisation, and analyse the consequences for development.

The structure of the paper is as follows. Section II sketches a profile of international labour migration over the past fifty years and situates it in historical perspective to highlight the contrast between the old and the new. Section III examines the underlying factors with an emphasis on structural determinants at a macro level. Section IV considers how globalisation is creating conditions that are conducive to the movement of people across borders. Section V highlights some important asymmetries apropos migration in the contemporary world economy. Section VI analyses the impact of international migration on economic development.

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Read More: Development, Human Rights, Jobs, Migration, Poverty

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