In a recent seminar at the World Bank, Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer presented a paper titled "Illegal Immigration: restrict or liberalize?" showing that tighter border security and internal enforcement actually reduce the welfare for U.S. households; raise the wage rate of the undocumented migrants who remain; and generate dead-weight losses in the form of prosecution and prosecution-mitigating activities. More importantly, they explain that restricting the inflow of undocumented immigrants pushes U.S.
The Mediterranean—a basin of cultures, the demographics of which, it seems, invite both appeal and criticism…
Gone seem to be the days when water was the key in a process of communication; where those living along the coasts would be absorbing, assimilating and partaking in diversity and exchange. Routes were sea, not land. Trade was linked to ports, transport to ships, and movement to waves.
I recently revisited the Social Science Research Council's (SSRC) Web Anthology on Remittances and Development, and was pleasantly surprised to find an excellent collection of research articles on this rather fast-growing topic. The articles are presented in a convenient format, organized under some broad themes such as concepts, methods, measures, determinants, uses, and impacts of remittances.
One area where more articles exist and can be added are those on remittance systems (by this I mean retail payment systems) and how they can be leveraged for accessing finance/capital at the household or institutional level. There could also be more articles on regulations - especially on anti-money-laundering/countering financing of terrorism - that affect remittance transactions.
Earlier this year, the Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI) in the Philippines launched a free (with registration) online country-level databank on overseas migration and development called the Philippine Migration
and Development Statistical Almanac.
With remittances expected to fall in 2009 as the financial crisis unfolds, the primary mechanism through which origin countries recoup the efficiency increases achieved by skilled migration will dissipate. But is there another mechanism, less direct but with long-term implications, through which migrants can benefit their home country.
The notion of the brain drain from developing to developed countries is not new. What is relatively new in the ’new brain drain’ or ’brain gain’ literature is its positive prognosis regarding the economic implications of labor market liberalization. Yes there is a brain drain and on the whole it is bad for development. But the migration of skilled workers need not be a zero sum game. That is, the gain of the host country need not inevitably translate to the loss of the sending country.
This is the first year that the H-1B visa cap has not been reached during the first 5 days of filing applications. The current cap is set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 for holders of advanced degrees. It seems that the number of petitions for the H-1B visa this year will be far less than last year. The U.S.
In the World Bank's latest semi-annual economic update for the East Asia and Pacific region, titled "Battling the Forces of Global Recession" and released today, we mentioned the Philippine economy's resilience, both in absolute and relative terms.
|Declining revenue of tuk-tuk drivers in Cambodia shows even the informal sector isn't insulated.|
The World Bank today launches its projection of a 1 percent contraction of the Cambodian economy. This is based on an analysis of available statistics and feedback from a range of economic actors. Yet, to most of my Cambodian friends, it remains hard to conceive.
It is true that "seeing" such a contraction will be difficult. Basically, what it means is that economic activity in 2009 will be pretty much the same as in 2008. So the fact that we continue to have traffic jams in Phnom Penh, see tourists at the Royal Palace, and hear construction machines in many residential areas is consistent with such a projection. What will change, though, is that incomes will not increase this year as fast as past years and it will also become more difficult for the 250,000 young people leaving school each year to find their first job. What also will be different is that with no growth in aggregate, there will be a proportion of those with a livelihood at the end of the year worse than at the beginning.
Migration is the default adaptation strategy of the poor.
Rising sea levels, more frequent flooding, and droughts could displace millions of people by the middle of the century. And if the predictions of sharply declining agricultural productivity come true, farmers will to an increasing extent abandon rural areas in search of new livelihoods.
As jobs become fewer and income harder to come by for immigrants in developed countries, the amount of money they send back home, known as remittances, is expected to fall this year more than previously expected. The Bank's Migration and Remittances team announced the latest outlook last week on its People Move blog: "We now expect a sharper decline of 5-8 percent in 2009 ... compared to our earlier projections," wrote economist Dilip Ratha, who leads the team.
While the steepest drops in remittances are expected for Europe and Central Asia – down 10-12 percent – countries in the East Asia and Pacific region are also forecasted to fall by 4-7.5 percent in 2009. Two of the world's biggest recipients of remittances are China, which received $34 billion in 2008, and the Philippines, which saw $18 billion last year. Other big receipients in East Asia include Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, according to the Bank's Migration & Remittances Factbook 2008.