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									Migration and
Development
More Coherence for
Better Outcomes


Denis Drechsler
OECD Development Centre
27 June 2008
Geneva
    Overview of the Presentation



1. What do we think we know?
2. What do empirics say?
3. What can we do?

                               2
        Two Main Messages

The good news:
Migration can contribute to development
and poverty reduction

The (potentially) inconvenient news:
Development and development aid will not
stop migration flows.

                                           3
       What do we think we know?

• International migration is exploding
• Most migrants to OECD countries come
  from poor regions
• The loss of human capital (brain drain)
  reduces countries’ development prospects
• Financial returns by migrants (remittances)
  replace development aid
                                             4
                       What do empirics say?
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 1
0
 1950                 1960              1970       1980   1990       2000          2010
                World            Less developed regions   More developed regions
     Source: United Nations Population Division.                                     5
         Effects on Sending Regions
• Migration of low-skilled workers
  – Higher financial returns
  – Larger impact on poverty reduction
  – Potential improvements in low-wage sector
  – Increase of productivity

• Migration of the highly skilled
  – Possible knowledge transfer
  – Incentive to invest in human capital
  – Potentially a win-win situation
  – However: particularly problematic in poor developing countries

                                                                     6
               Migration of University Graduates (in %)




Source: OECD Database on Expatriates and Immigrants, 2004/2005; Cohen and Soto (2001)
                                                                                        7
                 Remittances are important…

 Annual transfer of a migrant, in USD (2000)
  2686.5




                      926.4
                                         766.5
                                                           649.4
                                                                     431.5
                                                                                160.4

  Gulf               EU-15                US           Other OECD E Asia NICs Developing
Countries                                                                        Reg.
Source: IMF Current Accounts; UN Trends in Migrant Stock, 2000.
                                                                                        8
…and mostly go into consumption

 Use of remittances, Mexico 2000 (in %)

    78.0




                7.0        5.0        4.0      1.0

  Cons.        Educ.      Saving     Other   Invest.


Quelle: Fomin, Pew Hispanic Center



                                                       9
       Summing up

• Migration is an integral part of
  globalisation
• International mobility can be expected to
  increase with development
• Development potential of migration is
  currently insufficiently utilised
• Need for partnerships and more
  coherent policies
                                              10
          What can we do?
•    Donors
    – Introduce more flexibility: towards circular migration
    – Improve guidelines for recruitment of the highly
      skilled
    – Initiate concerted actions with banks and other
      financial institutes to reduce transfer costs of
      remittances

•    Partner Countries
    – Integrate migration into development strategies
    – Improve human resource management to compensate
      the consequences of migration
    – Invest in transport and communication infrastructure
      to increase mobility of workers
                                                           11
  For more information:
www.oecd.org/dev/migration




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