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CGD provides rigorous research and innovative policy approaches that enable migrants, refugees, and host communities to prosper.
The Center for Global Development’s (CGD) Program on Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy is focused on ensuring that everyone on the move realizes their full potential. We work to maximize the benefits of migration to destination and origin countries, expand the opportunities available to forcibly displaced people, and reform the humanitarian system to better serve the needs of those affected by conflict and crisis.
We recognize that human mobility can have positive and negative effects, depending on policy choices. We therefore work with policymakers around the world to create sustainable, pragmatic, and evidence-based policies for everyone on the move.
Traditional measures of development divide the world into categories such as developed and developing, rich and poor, and North and South. While indexes such as CGD’s Commitment to Development Index (CDI) can be useful for roughly defining which countries contribute the most to helping the world’s poorest, it is more difficult to account for rising countries like Brazil, China, and India that are improving their commitments to a to a more fair and prosperous global order. Which countries are going above and beyond in their commitments to global citizenship?
Large international differences in the price of labor can be sustained by differences between workers, or by natural and policy barriers to worker mobility. We use migrant selection theory and evidence to place lower bounds on the ad valorem equivalent of labor mobility barriers to the United States. Natural and policy barriers may each create annual global losses of trillions of dollars.
Barriers to emigration cost the world economy much more than all remaining barriers to the international movement of goods and capital combined, but they are given little attention by economists. Michael Clemens writes that they deserve a much higher research priority and sketches a four-point research agenda.
Research on migration and development has recently changed, in two ways. First, it has grown sharply in volume, emerging as a proper subfield. Second, while it once embraced principally rural-urban migration and international remittances, migration and development research has broadened to consider a range of international development processes. These include human capital investment, global diaspora networks, circular or temporary migration, and the transfer of technology and cultural norms. We present a selection of frontier migrant-and-development research that instantiates these trends.