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Migration and development, economic growth, aid effectiveness, economic history
Michael Clemens is co-director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he studies the economic effects and causes of migration around the world. He has published on migration, development, economic history, and impact evaluation, in peer-reviewed academic journals including the American Economic Review, and his research has been awarded the Royal Economic Society Prize. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Population Economics and World Development. He is the author of the book The Walls of Nations, forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Previously, Clemens has been an Affiliated Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, a visiting scholar at New York University, and a consultant for the World Bank, Bain & Co., the Environmental Defense Fund, and the United Nations Development Program. He has lived and worked in Colombia, Brazil, and Turkey. He received his PhD from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, specializing in economic development, public finance, and economic history.
International migration has long been a central tool in the battle against global poverty and inequality, but the recent heated political debate over immigration reform has largely failed to recognize how migration shapes the development process. In this essay, research fellow Michael Clemens and co-author Sami Bazzi outline five major reasons why migration is a development issue in today’s world, and they suggest an agenda for the next U.S. administration to make U.S. migration policy work for the United States, for countries of origin, and for the migrants themselves.
The economic potential of globalization may ultimately depend on the international mobility of highly talented individuals who transfer and circulate knowledge and skills. Examples are seen throughout the globe of these skilled individuals utilizing ideas, capital and innovation to contribute to new technologies and business creation, both in their own countries and abroad. In today's globalized economy, the concept of "brain drain" is given a fresh look when highlighting the positive impacts of talent mobility on development.
On April 2, Global Economy and Development at Brookings will host the release of a new publication, The International Mobility of Talent Types, Causes, and Development Impact Track (Oxford University Press, 2008), in coordination with the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University. Panelists will discuss the main determinants and development impact of talent mobility and how there is much to gain within the global economy if it is effectively managed. Experts include: Andres Solimano, AnnaLee Saxenian, Michael Clemens and Danny Leipziger. Brookings Nonresident Fellow Neil G. Ruiz will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.
After the program, panelists will take audience questions. At the conclusion of the event there will be a reception in the Somers Room.
Data on the average income of a resident of Ecuador is easy to find. But until now there has been no data on the average income of a person born in Ecuador, regardless of where she or he lives. In this paper, research fellow Michael Clemens and non-resident fellow Lant Pritchett introduce a new dataset, income per natural: the mean annual income of persons born in a given country regardless of residence. Turns out that defining things this way makes a big difference, and not just for tiny nations. Income per natural differs by more than 10% from income per resident for dozens of countries including Vietnam, Kenya and Morocco. In other words, one of the largest sources of increased income for people in many parts of the developing world is moving to another country.
Please see the bottom of this page for a preliminary and partial summary of the survey results.
The Center for Global Development (CGD) is conducting an anonymous mail survey of all African-born physicians in North America who are members of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, as well as several thousand African-born registered nurses in five US states. The survey will be conducted between May and July 2006.
CGD is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research institute in Washington, DC. We do academic research on how rich countries' policies can do more to reduce poverty in the developing world. Most of our work, including this survey, is funded by independent philanthropists with no agenda other than supporting high-quality research relevant to policy. Learn more about CGD and its history, mission, and funders.
The purpose of the survey is to better inform academic research about the complex effects of the emigration of African professionals on their countries of origin. Frequently, public discussion of these effects focuses on simple effects, presumed to be negative--African health professionals who live abroad are not spending most of their time providing health care in Africa, whereas the positive effects tend to be ignored. Migrant professionals often send money to their home countries, travel back to their home countries, invest in their home countries, and sometimes move back permanently to their home countries with newly acquired skills and wealth. In this survey we hope to document and measure some of these more complex, positive effects. We thus ask questions about the extent of interaction African-born health professionals abroad have with their countries of origin.
We are conducting this survey purely for academic ends. The questionnaire is completely anonymous. We do not request, nor attempt in any way to obtain, the identity of survey respondents. Our only interest lies in estimating general characteristics of the entire population of African health professionals in North America, as a group.
Who is running the survey
This survey is being conducted by two CGD research staff members: Michael Clemens, PhD, and Gunilla Pettersson. Dr. Clemens is a Research Fellow at the Center. He received his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2002 and specializes in the study of economic development and economic history. Access Dr. Clemens' bio and writings. Ms. Pettersson is a Research Assistant at the Center, and holds her master's degree in economics from Oxford University. She has lived and worked in Lesotho and Malawi. If you have any questions about the survey we would be happy to discuss them with you; please get in touch with Ms. Pettersson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary results for CGD survey of African physicians and nurses in the US and Canada
These preliminary results are intended for survey participants only and may not be cited. So far we have received 1600 responses to the CGD African-born physician survey and 230 responses to the CGD African-born nurse survey and we are very grateful to all survey participants. Simple averages for select questions from the two surveys for 390 and 124 physician and nurse respondents respectively, for which data have been entered are shown in the tables below. The final results will be published here in September 2006.
AVERAGES FOR SELECT VARIABLES FOR CGD AFRICAN-BORN PHYSICIAN SURVEY (partial results)
Average annual remittances: US$4,600Average year physicians began to live continuously in the U.S.: 1982Average share of physicians trained at home (i.e. in Africa): 53%Average share of physicians trained abroad (i.e. outside Africa): 47%Average share of responses from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa): 58%Average share of responses from North Africa: 29%Average share of responses from South Africa: 13%Share of physicians providing medical care in their country of birth during the last 12 months: 8%
Preliminary numbers for 390 survey responses. Not for citation.Source: CGD survey of African-born physicians in Canada and the United States (2006).
AVERAGES FOR SELECT VARIABLES FOR CGD AFRICAN-BORN NURSE SURVEY (partial results)
Average annual remittance: US$4,720Average year nurses began to live continuously in the U.S.: 1990Average share of nurses trained at home (i.e. Africa): 26%Average share of nurses trained abroad (i.e. not Africa): 74%Average share of responses from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa): 97.6%Average share of responses from North Africa: 0.8%Average share of responses from South Africa: 1.6%Share of nurses that provided medical care in their country of birth during the last 12 months: 6%
Preliminary numbers for 124 survey responses. Not for citation. Source: CGD survey of African-born nurses in the United States (2006).
President Bush literally shoots for the stars in his 2004 budget with a 5.6 percent increase to NASA’s budget. He doesn't just want to win this fall; he wants a legacy. I wonder if he knows that Cadillac legacies are available at Pontiac prices.