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Perspectives on Global Development 2017

International Migration in a Shifting World

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Perspectives on Global Development 2017 presents an overview of the shifting of economic activity to developing countries and examines whether this shift has led to an increase in international migration towards developing countries. The report focuses on the latest data on migration between 1995 and 2015, and uses a new three-way categorisation of countries. It describes the recent evolution of migration overall as well as by groups of countries according to their growth performance.It analyses what drives these trends and also studies the special case of refugees. It examines the impact on migration of migration policies as well as various sectoral policies in developing countries of origin as well as of destination, and studies the impact of migration on these countries. The report also develops four illustrative future scenarios of migration in 2030 and recommends policies that can help improve the benefits of migration for origin and destination countries, as well as for migrants. Better data, more research and evidence-based policy action are needed to prepare for expected increases in the number of migrants from developing countries. More needs to be done to avoid situations that lead to refugee spikes as well as to foster sustainable development.

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How public policies affect migration flows

OECD Development Centre

The most evident public policies that can affect patterns of migration are those that explicitly aim to manage the movement of people: border controls, visa requirements, family reunification regulations, etc. Yet other policies, in countries of both destination and origin, can also influence people’s decisions to migrate. A country’s policies for its labour market, agriculture, education, investment and financial services, and social protection and health all affect the prevailing economic and social climates and, in so doing, influence the incentives to migrate or stay at home. While investigating the impact of public policies on migration, this chapter therefore considers the effect of both explicit migration policies and policies for sectors that are not directly linked to migration.

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