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The new migration and development optimism

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Presentation on theme: "The new migration and development optimism"— Presentation transcript:

1 the new migration and development optimism

2 migration and development mania


4 the new ‘migration-and-development’ optimism migration benefits everyone if the policies are right – migrants win through expanding freedoms and higher living standards, but risk vulnerability – destination countries win through cheap low-skill labour and new ideas, but risk ethnic tensions – origin countries win through remittances and knowledge transfers, but risk brain drain – the risks of migration are best minimized (and rewards maximized) by promoting ‘circulation’ and ‘engaging diasporas’  Stark and Bloom (1985) The new economics of labour migration, The American Economic Review 75(2): 173-78.

5 the old optimism: 1950s-60s Kindleberger (1965) Emigration and Economic Growth. Banca Natzionale Del Lavoro Quarterly Review, 28, 235-54. key ideas – migration balances wage differentials – rising wages at source promote innovation  laissez faire approach leads to ‘balanced growth’  background: postwar growth drives demand for migrant labour jethro tull’s seed drill Image sources: rural labour ‘freed’ to work in industry

6 the old pessimism: 1970s-80s Papademetriou & Martin (1991) The unsettled relationship: labor migration and economic development. New York/London: Greenwood. Castles and Kosack (1973) Immigrant workers and class structure in Western Europe. London: Oxford University Press. key ideas: – migration driven by capitalist exploitation – ‘asymetric growth’: destinations win, but origins and migrants lose  neo-marxist economic theory  background: oil-shocks reduce demand for migrant labour and ethnic tensions emerge Turkish Guest Workers in Germany, 1969 Images: Photo by Leonard Nadel Mexican Braceros compare paychecks, 1956

7 the new optimism: 1990s-2000s key ideas: – migration generally benefits all, provided the policies are right – the right policies involve circular migration and engaging diasporas  ‘third-way’ neoliberal economic theory  background: search for ways of ‘governing globalization’

8 the new optimism: 1990s-2000s states see need to cooperate, but unwilling to accept centrally imposed global migration governance search for areas where interests coincide – migration and development optimism suggests a grand bargain is possible if states cooperate e.g. Rolph Jenny 2006 Image source:

9 conclusions migration and development thinking has swung back and forth from optimism to pessimism since the 1950s at least the new migration and development optimism offers states a starting point for cooperation over migration, in lieu of global migration governance the way we think about the impacts of migration is driven not only by social science but by wider historical factors

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