Policy Coherence for Development 2007

Migration and Developing Countries

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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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OECD Development Centre

Repatriation is more common than many observers recognise. Return can be voluntary, provoked by retirement, changes in migration law, the end of a contract, as a condition of entry or (in the case of many irregular migrants) the result of deportation. Involuntary return is difficult to sustain. More generally, reintegration of returnees in the source country depends on the intentions of the returning migrants, their level of skills and whether these have been maintained or whether new skills have been acquired abroad, and the institutional infrastructure migrants are returning to. Circular migration can benefit both the migrant and the source country, in part by encouraging the circulation of skills.

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