Migration

Dany Bahar, Andreas Hauptmann, Cem Özgüzel, Hillel Rapoport, 22 November 2019

The economic debate on immigration has focused on migration’s short-term labour market and fiscal effects. Less attention has been given to the long-run economic opportunities linked to migration. This column uses the case of refugees returning to the former Yugoslavia from Germany after the end of the Yugoslav wars to explore the role that returning migrants play in shaping the industrial development of their home country. The findings support the idea that migrants are drivers of knowhow and technology transfers between countries.

Michael Lokshin, Martin Ravallion, 27 September 2019

Free migration would bring large gains globally but is a tall order politically. This column argues that a more feasible policy is to let citizens in host countries rent out their right-to-work for a period, financed by foreigners purchasing time-bound work permits. This would be a pro-poor social policy in host countries, and bring first-order welfare gains to new migrants from low-wage economies.

Kacie Dragan, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Sherry Glied, 19 September 2019

The pace of gentrification in US cities has accelerated, but little evidence exists on its impact on low-income children. This column uses Medicaid claims data to examine how gentrification affects children’s health and wellbeing in New York City. It finds that low-income children born in areas that gentrify are no more likely to move than those born in areas that don't gentrify, and those that do move tend to end up living in areas of lower poverty. Moreover, gentrification does not appear to dramatically alter the health status or health-system utilisation of children by age 9–11, although children growing up in gentrifying areas show somewhat elevated levels of anxiety and depression.

Santiago Pérez, 15 September 2019

The US and Argentina were the two most common destinations for Italian migrants in the early 20th century. But their experiences as immigrants in each country differed widely. Italians in Argentina became homeowners and were less likely to be employed as unskilled labourers than they were in the US, where they had uncommonly low family incomes and rates of home ownership. This column examines the source of these differences and seeks to understand why so many Italians chose to settle in a country that offered them limited prospects for upward mobility.

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Panu Poutvaara, 05 September 2019

About 1.4 million refugees and irregular migrants arrived in Europe in 2015 and 2016, but little is known about their socio-demographic characteristics and motivations. This column presents the first large-scale evidence on why those who crossed the Mediterranean in 2015 and 2016 had left their home countries. While the vast majority were escaping conflict, the main motivation for a significant number of migrants from countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan was a desire to seek out better economic opportunities. People who are educated to secondary or tertiary level are more likely to migrate than people with lower levels of education, particularly when fleeing a major conflict, and these people are more likely to head for countries that have more comprehensive migrant integration policies.

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