With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
The average refugee spends over 10 years in exile and most of the world’s 25 million refugees are not allowed to access formal labor markets. This means that millions of refugees—particularly those located in low- and middle-income countries—spend large portions of their lives without being able to legally work or achieve self-reliance.
To address this problem, MDHP will pursue research and outreach to help make progress towards policy changes that enable refugees to pursue decent work and improve their livelihoods--while also creating benefits for hosts. In particular, we will focus on education/skills training, due to its close relationship with employment and entrepreneurship. Research will include studies on the impacts of refugee-related labor market policies on outcomes for hosts and approaches to responsibility-sharing that bring together regional and international actors in supporting refugee-hosting countries. This research and subsequent outreach can help policymakers understand the benefits of granting refugees greater labor market access and increase evidence-based decisions in this regard. It will also lead to recommendations on how to create international compacts and agreements that lead to better outcomes for refugees (including greater work rights), hosts, and the international community.
Get Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy Updates
The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, such as that the typhoon which devastated part of the Phillipines on Friday, can bring out the best of the global community. There will come a time to discuss how we can do more to prevent the environmental changes which make such events more likely; but the immediate priority is to get water, food and shelter to people who urgently need it.
The arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants in Europe has brought widespread concern they will become an economic drain on the countries that welcome them. When economists have studied past influxes of refugees and migrants they have found the labor market effects, while varied, are very limited, and can in fact be positive.
Do immigrants from poor countries hurt native workers? A study by an influential immigration economist at Harvard University recently found that a famous flood of Cuban immigrants into Miami dramatically reduced the wages of native workers. But there’s a problem. The Borjas study had a critical flaw that makes the finding spurious.
The authors argue that many reform initiatives in developing countries fail to achieve sustained improvements in performance because they are merely isomorphic mimicry. They present a new framework for breaking out of capability traps.
Since the overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi earlier this month, US government officials have made painstaking efforts to avoid calling the ouster a military coup d’état. Why the semantic sensitivity? Because according to the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act (PL 112-74), all US foreign assistance to the Egyptian government must be terminated if the military’s actions did, in fact, constitute a coup.