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From a purely economic perspective, migration barriers impoverish the world. Eliminating barriers to labor mobility could add tens of trillions of dollars to global GDP. CGD research in this area brings rigorous economic analysis to a politically charged issue and demonstrates that, throughout history, increasing the number of legal, regulated migrant workers benefits both the counties they live in and leave behind.
For at least a couple of decades NGOs and others in developing countries have been designing, evaluating, tinkering, and trying to improve projects and programs that deliver specific in-kind “interventions” to targeted individuals/households in ways that raised their incomes in a sustained way.
Simply allowing more labor mobility holds vastly more promise for reducing poverty than anything else on the development agenda. That said, the magnitude of the gains from large growth accelerations (and losses from large decelerations) are also many-fold larger than the potential gains from directed individual interventions and the poverty reduction gains from large, extended periods of rapid growth are larger than from targeted interventions and also hold promise (and have delivered) for reducing global poverty.