The United States is perhaps the largest destination country for international migrants, and is by far the largest source country for international remittances (see our Factbook and a recent CBO report on remittances). The US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that outward remittance flows from the US amounted to $51.6 billion in 2010 (see table 1). So far the BEA has published remittance data for the first three quarters of 2011. What could be the estimate for the fourth quarter 2011 and by implication the annual figure for 2011?
A recently introduced bipartisan legislation entitled, “The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act of 2012 “ will promote the increase of US exports to Africa. On March 22, U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) jointly with U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) presented a bill to improve the competitiveness of U.S. business in Africa, including African diaspora businesses. The bill also proposes to explore ways to utilize diaspora remittances to Africa for development purposes.
A challenge for developing countries considering issuance of bonds (including diaspora bonds) is costly and onerous SEC registration requirements in the U.S. and Europe. The Capital Raising Online While Deterring Fraud and Unethical Non-Disclosure Act (CROWDFUND Act) passed by the U.S. Senate on March 22 could potentially make the regulatory process simpler for some small-scale financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing country.
Despite the large and growing literatures on migration in economics, sociology, and other social sciences, there is surprisingly little work which actually evaluates the impact of particular migration policies (most of the literature concerns the determinants of migrating, and the consequences of doing so for the migrants, their families, and for native workers). I am therefore always interested to see new work in this area, particularly work which manages to obtain experimental variation in policy implementation.
Originally posted on Matthew Kahn's personal blog: http://greeneconomics.blogspot.com/
At the World Bank yesterday, I learned about this impressive project. While there are a lot of papers to choose from at this website, the "big picture" is sketched below in the report's Executive Summary.
The following is a direct quote:
"This report considers migration in the context of environmental change over the next 50 years.
The scope of this report is international: it examines global migration trends, but also internal migration trends particularly within low-income countries, which are often more important in this context.
Last year 14 million people around the world applied for the 50,000 green cards available through the U.S. Diversity Visa lottery, commonly known as the Green Card lottery.
Perhaps the toughest challenge faced by developed and developing countries alike is the governance of international labor migration. Some countries have developed useful mechanisms that foster economic growth and migrant integration into host societies. But in the United States, a well-informed, high level debate about how to improve employment-based migration management is conspicuously absent from the public discourse. Discussion in the media and debates in Congress typically focus narrowly on the concerns of employers who argue, for example, in favor of raising the numerical limits on two or three temporary visa categories, or those pushing for increased enforcement measures for irregular migrants.
The Economic Policy Institute’s new book, Value-Added Immigration: Lessons for the United States from Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, uses a comparative methodology to help fill this gap in the policy debate on labor migration in the United States. Authored by Ray Marshall, the U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Carter, it suggests how the United States could improve its own system based upon the best practices found in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. These three countries – while far from perfect – have evolved and adapted their migration governance to further a value-added strategy, i.e., one that seeks to improve productivity and innovation and fill labor shortages. They also do a better job of protecting the labor rights of foreign and native workers.