Interest among high-income countries in using bespoke legal labor migration pathways to offset the negative impacts of aging populations and skills shortages has increased in the last decade. Even when migration is beneficial in the long-run, like all investments, these pathways incur up-font costs. Yet there is little information as to the costs involved in these pathways; how they were covered by government funding, the private sector, and the migrants themselves; and how these costs could be covered in an ethical and sustainable way to enable these bespoke pathways to scale. Based on analysis of a Center for Global Development database of 57 legal labor migration pathways, this paper seeks to answer these questions. It therefore aims to provide support to high-income countries interested in designing, implementing, and scaling legal labor migration pathways.
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