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I’m delighted to be helping organize again, for 2015, the world’s premier research conference on the economics of migration and development. Full-paper submissions are due January 20, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Migration-and-development has grown into a field of its own, in both research and policy.
One picture reveals the trend in research. In the 1960s there was a burst of research interest in migration and development—mostly about migration within countries, as much of the developing world embarked on rapid urbanization. That interest waned in the 70s. But over the last 20 years, more and more development papers mention migration, and more and more migration papers mention development:
Our most common intuition about migration and development is just as clear: more development must cause less migration. Won’t economic growth in, say, Haiti mean that fewer Haitians want to leave? This seems as plain as the sun crossing the sky, but the data simply do not support it.
CGD studies the ways that the richest countries affect the rest of the world, far beyond foreign aid. And the US massively shapes economic development in its neighbors to the south. The 2,000 mile border between the United States and Mexico is an economic cliff, the largest GDP per capita differential found at any land border on earth. Across this fault line, the two nations continue a deep and centuries-old exchange of goods, services, investment, labor, culture, and ideas.
Tim Ogden and I want a new research agenda for migration and remittances.
Development policymakers have gotten excited about remittances, the cash that migrants send to developing countries. In large part this is because remittances are huge—about triple the size of foreign aid flows. That’s a big opportunity for development.
This Sunday is the fourth anniversary of Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. It immediately killed more than 150,000 people and the economy was shattered. I’ve been reflecting on the progress Haiti has made and the long road ahead.