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Migration can be a powerful tool for development. The right policies can unlock wins across the board—for destination countries, origin countries, and migrants and their families. But migration has been demonized as part of the backlash against globalization, and governments are struggling to respond pragmatically. CGD offers rigorous research and evidence to reframe contentious political debates and solutions so everyone wins.
‘Guest workers’ earn higher wages overseas on temporary low-skill employment visas. This wage gap can be used to measure gaps in the productivity of workers due to where they are, not who they are. This paper estimates the effects of guest work on Indian applicants to a construction job in the United Arab Emirates, where an economic crisis allocated guest work opportunities as-good-as-randomly among several thousand families. Guest work raised the return to poor families' labor by a factor of four, with little evidence of systematic fraud.