Does Development Reduce Migration?

46 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014

See all articles by Michael A. Clemens

Michael A. Clemens

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Abstract

The most basic economic theory suggests that rising incomes in developing countries will deter emigration from those countries, an idea that captivates policymakers in international aid and trade diplomacy. A lengthy literature and recent data suggest something quite different: that over the course of a "mobility transition", emigration generally rises with economic development until countries reach upper-middle income, and only thereafter falls. This note quantifies the shape of the mobility transition in every decade since 1960. It then briefly surveys 45 years of research, which has yielded six classes of theory to explain the mobility transition and numerous tests of its existence and characteristics in both macro- and micro-level data. The note concludes by suggesting five questions that require further study.

Keywords: emigration, migration, mobility, development, growth, transition, hump, lifecycle, inequality, poverty, aid, demand, pressure

JEL Classification: F22, J61, O15

Suggested Citation

Clemens, Michael Andrew, Does Development Reduce Migration?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8592, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520747

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

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
53
Abstract Views
438
rank
205,540
PlumX Metrics