Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development

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OECD Development Centre

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17 Feb 2017
9789264265622 (EPUB) ; 9789264265615 (PDF) ;9789264265608(print)

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Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development is the result of a project carried out by the European Union and the OECD Development Centre in ten partner countries: Armenia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Morocco and the Philippines. The project aimed to provide policy makers with evidence on the way migration influences specific sectors – labour market, agriculture, education, investment and financial services, and social protection and health – and, in turn, how sectoral policies affect migration. The report addresses four dimensions of the migration cycle: emigration, remittances, return and immigration.

The results of the empirical work confirm that migration contributes to the development of countries of origin and destination. However, the potential of migration is not yet fully exploited by the ten partner countries. One explanation is that policy makers do not sufficiently take migration into account in their respective policy areas. To enhance the contribution of migration to development, home and host countries therefore need to adopt a more coherent policy agenda to better integrate migration into development strategies, improve co-ordination mechanisms and strengthen international co-operation.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements

    The number of international migrants has doubled in the past quarter-century, to more than 240 million. Increasing mobility means that in the future the movement of people across the world will become ever more complex and present new challenges for policy makers. The inclusion of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development confirms and reinforces the important relation between migration and development. By integrating migration, including forced displacement, into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the heads of State and Governments acknowledged that migration needs to work for development and that development needs to work for migration, while not ignoring its potential negative impacts.

  • Executive Summary

    The international community is increasingly acknowledging that migrants can make a positive contribution to development, both in countries of origin and destination. The question that must now be answered is “what policies will allow this potential to be realised and minimise any negative impact?”.

  • Assessment and policy recommendations

    Migration’s positive contribution to development is increasingly being recognised and targeted by policies designed to maximise its benefits in countries of origin and destination. But less clearly understood is (1) how migration affects a variety of key development sectors, including the labour market, agriculture, education, investment and financial services, and social protection and health; and (2) how a range of sectoral policies can enhance, or undermine, the development impact of migration. The project Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) was conducted between 2013 and 2017 in ten developing countries to explore these links, drawing on quantitative and qualitative analysis. This chapter provides an overview of the study’s findings, highlighting the ways in which migration (comprising emigration, remittances, return migration and immigration) can boost development, and analysing the sectoral policies that will allow this to happen. It concludes with a call for a whole-of-government approach in which migration becomes an integral part of countries’ development strategies and is also dealt with coherently on a bilateral and regional level.

  • Conceptual and methodological frameworks

    The IPPMD project aimed to provide empirical evidence for policy makers on the positive contribution of migration to development and how policy can be used to reinforce these effects. To do so, it developed its unique conceptual and methodological frameworks to look beyond the impact of migration policy to explore the bi-directional links between key sectors and four dimensions of migration (emigration, remittances, return migration and immigration). This chapter gives an overview of the conceptual and methodological frameworks and presents the analytical approach.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Why integrating migration into sectoral policies matters

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    • Integrating migration and development into labour market policies

      Well-functioning labour markets are key for countries’ economic and social development. This chapter analyses the interrelations between migration and labour market policies. It explores how emigration affects different sectors and skills groups, whether emigration and remittances have an impact on households’ decision on labour supply and how remittances and return migration are related to self-employment. It also questions how immigration affects labour markets in host countries. The chapter then explores how labour market policies affect the decision to migrate and (re)integration of immigrants and return migrants by enhancing market efficiency through government employment agencies and reinforcing labour supply through vocational training programmes.

    • Leveraging migration for development in the agricultural sector

      Many developing countries are substantially focused on agriculture, which forms the basis of many households’ livelihoods. This chapter looks at the impact of international migration on the agricultural sector in the ten IPPMD partner countries. It specifically investigates whether emigration affects household labour, due to the departure of a working member, whether capital from remittances and return migration are being channelled in or out, and in what ways immigrant households contribute to the sector. It also examines whether agricultural policies – such as subsidies, training and insurance programmes – are linked to migration outcomes, such as emigration, the decision to remit and return and the integration prospects of immigrants.

    • Enhancing migration-led development by facilitating investment in education

      Access to quality education plays a critical role in promoting national development and enhancing the welfare of households and individuals. This chapter empirically investigates the interlinkages between migration and education in the ten IPPMD partner countries. It analyses the role of education in the decision to migrate, and how migration influences school attendance and educational expenditures. In addition, the chapter investigates the link between existing education policies and migration outcomes. The chapter points to a number of supportive policies that are important to realise the potential of migration to strengthen the positive synergies between education and development.

    • Strengthening the links between migration, investment, financial services and development

      Policy makers have long been interested in harnessing the development potential of migration. This chapter explores whether and under what conditions migration is likely to promote both greater well-being for migrant households, and more long-term development, through increased investment and entrepreneurship. The chapter starts by examining if and how migration and remittances can spur business and real estate investments. Potential differences between rural and urban areas when it comes to investments following migration and remittances are also analysed. It then examines the role of return migration for investments in migrant origin countries. Finally, the chapter analyses the role of public policies for investment decisions linked to return migration and remittances, with particular focus on sectoral policies to improve the wider investment and financial service sector such as financial training and more inclusive financial services.

    • Expanding the coverage of social protection and health services for better migration and development outcomes

      Social protection and health coverage play an increasingly important role in development policy, including the Sustainable Development Goals. This chapter considers the impact of migration on such services, whether increasing demand or supporting their provision. It first looks at how new entrants into the country, such as immigrants and return migrants, use and contribute to the system. It then analyses whether remittances are used for social and health expenditures, highlighting differences in urban and rural localities. The chapter also investigates how social protection and health policies might affect decisions to migrate and remit, based on individual and household coverage of such policies.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Enhancing the contribution of migration to development

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    • Making emigration a better asset for origin countries

      Despite the financial, human and social capital costs for households and the home country, emigration can be beneficial in several ways: for labour markets characterised by underemployment; for skill levels in the home country; and for women who stay behind and take on more responsibility. This chapter provides an overview of emigration in the IPPMD countries and its impact on the economic and social development of the home country. It also demonstrates how public policies and the lack or inadequacy of certain policies can play a role in the decision to emigrate. It explores a holistic view of migration in development policy, rather than a piecemeal approach which can have unexpected impacts, and outlines ways in which policy can make the most of emigration.

    • Creating an enabling environment to enhance the development impact of remittances

      Remittances can contribute to financing development and improving the lives of millions of households in developing economies. This chapter examines the link between remittances and long-term investments in human capital and other types of productive investments, and analyses the main factors that influence remittance-led development. It further examines and discusses the role of sectoral policies in enhancing the development impact of remittances. The chapter discusses various sectoral policies beyond migration and development policies that can indirectly affect remittance patterns and use. Building on these findings, the chapter explores how policies, directly and indirectly, can spur development by enhancing the sending and use of remittances.

    • Capitalising on return migration by making it more attractive and sustainable

      The human capital, financial means and social norms acquired by return migrants constitute an important source of development for many countries. This chapter synthesises some of the key return migration trends identified in the IPPMD partner countries. It examines development potential of return migrants which strongly depends on the economic, social and institutional environment back home. An increasing number of countries are introducing policies targeted at return migration to attract emigrants home and foster their reintegration. Beyond the targeted policies, this chapter further explores how sectoral policies play a role not only in attracting citizens back home, but also in aiding their long-lasting reintegration into society and realising the potential they have to contribute to their country’s development.

    • Boosting immigrants' contribution to development and promoting their integration

      Immigrants contribute in many ways to the economic and social development of their host country. Several of the IPPMD project partner countries – Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire and the Dominican Republic – are increasingly important destinations for immigration thanks to their better growth and job prospects relative to other countries in their regions. This chapter explores the immigration trends for these countries, drawing on the IPPMD data. It presents evidence from the survey on the potential contribution made by immigrants to their host economy, as well as several obstacles in the way of fulfilling their development potential. Public policies can contribute to improving the integration of immigrants in their countries of destination.

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