Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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"Whether anyone likes it or not, migration will be a key issue of the 21st century. Pritchett's book highlights the difficult political and ethical issues that the movement of people across national borders presents to the current system. His discussion of ways to break the deadlock is a provocative contribution in an area where provocation is needed."

—Mary Robinson, President, Ethical Globalization Initiative and former President of Ireland

"Lant Prichett gives us the most lucid and forward-looking account of the one aspect of 21st century globalization that politicians still refuse to recognize and manage properly: labor migration. If you care about the state of the world in the future, you will find this book irresistible and useful reading."

—Ernesto Zedillo, Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and former President of Mexico

In an increasingly liberalized and integrated global economy, with more open capital and goods and services markets, the highly restricted and heavily regulated markets for global labor are an oddity. In this controversial book, CGD non-resident fellow Lant Pritchett examines the potentials and perils of greater cross-border mobility of unskilled labor—within poor world regions and between poor and rich countries. Pritchett argues that irresistible demographic forces for greater international labor mobility are being checked by immovable anti-immigration ideas of rich-country citizens. He highlights the difficult political and ethical issues that the movement of people across national borders presents to the current system and proposes breaking the gridlock through policies that support development while also being politically acceptable in rich countries. These include greater use of temporary worker permits, permit rationing, reliance on bilateral rather than multilateral agreements, and protection of migrants' fundamental human rights. Pritchett's discussion of ways to break the deadlock is a provocative contribution to the growing debate on one of the most important and difficult issues of the 21st century.