Policy Coherence for Development 2007

Migration and Developing Countries

image of Policy Coherence for Development 2007

This edition of the Development Centre's annual report on policy coherence focuses on migration. The book examines the costs and benefits of migration for developing countries and how these flows can be better organised to yield greater benefits for all parties concerned -- migrant-sending countries, migrant-receiving countries, and the migrants themselves. It takes stock of what we know about the effects of migration on development, and distills from that knowledge a set of policy recommendations for sending and receiving countries alike. It draws on a large number of country and regional case studies co-ordinated by the OECD Development Centre to illustrate the mechanisms that link migration and development: labour-market effects, brain drain, remittances, diaspora networks and return migration.

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Departure of Labour: When Does the Home Country Benefit?

OECD Development Centre

Sending countries can benefit from low-skill migration during the exit and adjustment phases by reduced pressure on the domestic labour market, creating employment opportunities and increased wages for other low-skilled workers who remain at home. In general, low-skilled workers remit more than the highly skilled and come from poorer communities where their remittances make a greater contribution to poverty reduction than the remittances of the highly skilled. Benefits from the departure of the highly skilled accrue in the latter stages of the migration cycle. Brain drain entails risks for sending countries but can also encourage higher levels of education at home. Temporary and circular migration – of both low-skilled and highly skilled workers – can benefit migrants and the sending country, often more than permanent migration.

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