OECD Development Pathways

OECD Development Centre

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The OECD Development Pathways series helps developing and emerging economies to identify innovative policy solutions to their specific development challenges. Higher levels of well-being and more equitable and sustainable growth cannot be achieved by merely reproducing the experience of industrialised countries. For each of the countries studied, the series proposes options for action in specific policy areas and at the broader strategic level. It identifies the binding constraints to development across all sectors and proposes whole-of-government solutions.

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Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development in Georgia

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OECD Development Centre

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OECD, CRRC - Georgia
28 Mar 2017
9789264272217 (PDF) ; 9789264272224 (EPUB) ;9789264272200(print)

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Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development in Georgia is the result of a project carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC-Georgia) and the OECD Development Centre, in collaboration with the State Commission on Migration Issues (SCMI) and with support from the European Union. The project aimed to provide policy makers with evidence on the way migration influences specific sectors – the labour market, agriculture, education and investment and financial services – and, in turn, how sectoral policies affect migration. The report addresses three dimensions of the migration cycle that have changed remarkably in Georgia over the last 20 years: emigration, remittances and return.

The results of the empirical work confirm that even though migration contributes to the development of Georgia, the potential of migration is not fully exploited. One explanation is that, despite headway in the field of migration and development through the creation of the SCMI, not all policy makers in Georgia take migration sufficiently into account in their respective policy areas. Georgian authorities therefore need to adopt a more coherent policy agenda and better integrate migration into their sectoral strategies to enhance the contribution of migration to development in the country.

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  • Foreword

    Few events have changed the course of migration flows in the last half-century the way the dissolution of the Soviet Union did in 1991. The creation of new international borders and the opening towards the world generated distinct opportunities. Migration flows in Georgia were consequently altered and undertook a dramatic shift. Emigration as a percentage of population increased from around 13% in 1980 to 26% in 2000. Emigration also began benefiting the country as remittances followed, growing more than 500% between 2004 and 2014.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Facts and figures of Georgia

    The land, people and electoral cycle

  • Executive summary

    The view of policy makers on the role migration plays in development has changed remarkably over the past 20 years. Today, migration has a firm place amongst the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and officials from countries worldwide meet annually to discuss policies that best leverage migration for development at the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

  • Assessment and policy recommendations in Georgia

    Since the late 1990s Georgia has made great strides in recognising migration’s positive contribution to development, and has included it in its socio-economic strategies. The empirically based Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) project builds on this recognition, aiming to help policy makers fill the knowledge gaps on the links between migration and a range of sectoral policies. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative analysis, this report justifies an even wider whole-of-government approach, in which migration is integrated into the national development strategy. This chapter provides an overview of the report’s findings, highlighting the ways in which migration (including emigration, remittances and return migration) can boost development, analysing the sectoral policies in Georgia that will allow this to happen, and revealing the sometimes unexpected ways in which sectoral policies can affect migration.

  • Georgia's migration landscape

    Georgia is a country of net emigration, with migration increasingly driven by economic factors. Migration is high on the political agenda, and Georgia has long understood the potential it offers for national development. It has taken innovative steps to integrate it into wider policy making and to co-ordinate migration management.This chapter gives a brief overview of emigration since Georgia’s independence: its drivers and impact, who the migrants are and where they have gone, how they remit and the impact this has on their household and country, and what happens to them when they return. It also examines what data are available and where the gaps lie. Finally, it lays out the policy and institutional framework covering emigration, remittances, return migration and relations with the country’s diaspora and how migration relates to wider development policy.

  • Understanding the methodological framework in Georgia

    In order to provide an empirical foundation to the analysis of the links between migration and policy, the Interrelations between Public Policies, Migration and Development (IPPMD) project used three evidence-gathering tools: household surveys, community surveys, and interviews with representatives of public, international and local organisations to provide additional qualitative information about the migration context in Georgia.This chapter explains how the sampling for the survey was designed, as well as the statistical approaches used in the chapters that follow to analyse the impact of migration, return and remittances on key policy sectors. The chapter includes a brief overview of the survey findings, including differences across regions and between migrant and non-migrant households. It outlines some of the gender differences that emerged among migrants, particularly in terms of the country of migration, and the reasons for leaving and returning.

  • Migration and the labour market in Georgia

    Emigration can affect many aspects of the labour market – from wage levels and the supply of labour to the promotion of self-employment. High levels of unemployment and a poorly functioning labour market are key drivers of emigration in Georgia. Using survey data, this chapter investigates which segments of the workforce are most likely to emigrate, and the impact of emigration and remittances on employment and self-employment among both those who are left behind and those who return. It explores how government efforts to develop employment agencies, vocational training, and public employment programmes have benefited households and affected migration decisions.

  • Migration and agriculture in Georgia

    While the importance of agriculture to Georgia’s GDP has declined, the sector continues to play an important role – contributing to the livelihoods of around half the population. Despite being one of the government’s top priority sectors for development, agriculture suffers from a lack of access to finance, infrastructure, inputs and entrepreneurial skills. Many individuals have emigrated from agricultural households in Georgia to seek work in neighbouring countries. This chapter assesses the role played by migration in Georgia’s farming sector, as well as the influence of agricultural policies on migration. The chapter presents analysis of data gathered from the IPPMD survey of 1 089 farming households across the country. The findings have policy relevance in terms of the role of government support to the labour market to fill shortages opened up by rural emigration, how remittances can be harnessed more productively, and the value of return migration.

  • Migration and education in Georgia

    Education plays a crucial role in development and growth. Migration, through its close links with education, can help to enhance educational outcomes – for individuals, as well as nationally. At the same time, education policies can affect migration behaviour. This chapter investigates the interlikages between education and migration in Georgia. The chapter analyses the link between migration decisions, including remittances, and two key educational outcomes: educational expenditures and attendance rates. It also looks at the role of educational attendance in emigration decisions, and whether migration – and specifically return migration – is likely to affect human capital in Georgia. Finally, the chapter investigates the link between education policies and migration outcomes.

  • Migration, investments and financial services in Georgia

    Migration and remittances have the potential to promote development through household investments in entrepreneurial activities and other types of productive investments. This chapter explores if and under what conditions migration is likely to promote investment, and how sectoral policies linked to investments and financial services may affect migration investment decisions in Georgia. The chapter starts by giving an overview of financial inclusion and the investment sector in Georgia. It then examines if and how emigration, return migration and remittances can spur investments in entrepreneurship and real estate assets. Finally, the chapter discusses the role of public policies, particularly sectoral policies related to financial inclusion and financial training, for remittance decisions. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the policy recommendations of the findings.

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