Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?

Journal of Economic Perspectives, Forthcoming

Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 264

32 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2011 Last revised: 15 Feb 2012

See all articles by Michael A. Clemens

Michael A. Clemens

Center for Global Development; IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor

Date Written: August 19, 2011

Abstract

Many people born in low-income countries would like to leave those countries, but barriers prevent their emigration. Those barriers, according to economists’ best estimates to date, cost the world economy much more than all remaining barriers to the international movement of goods and capital combined. Yet economists spend much more time studying the movement of goods and capital, and when they study migration at all, they focus on the effects of immigration on nonmigrants in destination countries.

In this paper, Michael Clemens investigates why this is the case and sketches a four-point research agenda on the effects of emigration. Barriers to emigration, he writes, deserve a research priority that is commensurate with their likely colossal economic effects.

Keywords: emigration, goods and capital, effects of emigration

JEL Classification: F15, F21, F22, F47, O15, R23

Suggested Citation

Clemens, Michael Andrew, Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? (August 19, 2011). Journal of Economic Perspectives, Forthcoming; Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 264. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1912544

Michael Andrew Clemens (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

IZA-Institute for the Study of Labor ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/profile?key=4270

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