Human Development
Report 2009

Overcoming barriers:
Human mobility and development




    Published for the
    United Na...
Copyright © 2009
by the United Nations Development Programme
1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA

All rights reserved. No ...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                      Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development       Team



Team...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                       Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development     Foreword



F...
Foreword   HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development




         ...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
  Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development   Acknowledgements



Acknowledgements...
Acknowledgements               HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                 Overcoming barriers: Human m...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                           Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development   Acronymes
 ...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                              Overcoming barriers: Human mob...
Contents                                 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                           Overcomi...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                                         Overcoming barriers...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                        Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development      Overview


...
Overview                  HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                              Overcoming barriers: Human mobility ...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                            Overcoming barriers: Human mobil...
Overview                 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                             Overcoming barriers: Human mobility an...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                             Overcoming barriers: Human mobi...
Freedom and
movement:
how mobility
can foster
human development




                    1
The world distribution of opportunities is extremely
unequal. This inequality is a key driver of human
movement and thus i...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                        Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development                 ...
1                                          HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                            Overc...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                                           Overcoming barrie...
1                                                               HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                            ...
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009
                                                              Overcoming barriers: Human mob...
C  Documents And Settings Ib202643 ConfiguracióN Local Datos De Programa Mozilla Firefox Profiles R8tamevl
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C Documents And Settings Ib202643 ConfiguracióN Local Datos De Programa Mozilla Firefox Profiles R8tamevl

  1. 1. Human Development Report 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Published for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  2. 2. Copyright © 2009 by the United Nations Development Programme 1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission. ISBN 978-0-230-23904-3 First published in 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 Companies and representatives throughout the world Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library and the Library of Congress. Printed in Canada by the Lowe–Martin Group. Cover is printed on FSC 10pt Kallima coated one-side paper. Text pages are printed on FSC 60# Rolland Opaque30 smooth text that is 30% post-consumer waste. FSC supports responsible forest management worldwide. Printed with vegetable-based inks and produced by means of environmentally-compatible technology. [FSC LOGO WILL BE INSERTED HERE] Editing: Green Ink Design and Layout: ZAGO For a list of any errors or omissions found subsequent to printing, please visit our website at http://hdr.undp.org
  3. 3. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Team Team for the preparation of the Human Development Report 2009 Director Jeni Klugman Research Led by Francisco R. Rodríguez, comprising Ginette Azcona, Matthew Cummins, Ricardo Fuentes Nieva, Mamaye Gebretsadik, Wei Ha, Marieke Kleemans, Emmanuel Letouzé, Roshni Menon, Daniel Ortega, Isabel Medalho Pereira, Mark Purser and Cecilia Ugaz (Deputy Director until October 2008). Statistics Led by Alison Kennedy, comprising Liliana Carvajal, Amie Gaye, Shreyasi Jha, Papa Seck and Andrew Thornton. National HDR and network Eva Jespersen (Deputy Director HDRO), Mary Ann Mwangi, Paola Pagliani and Timothy Scott. Outreach and communications Led by Marisol Sanjines, comprising Wynne Boelt, Jean-Yves Hamel, Melissa Hernandez, Pedro Manuel Moreno and Yolanda Polo. Production, translation, budget and operations, administration Carlotta Aiello (production coordinator), Sarantuya Mend (operations manager), Fe Juarez-Shanahan and Oscar Bernal. iii
  4. 4. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Foreword Foreword Migration not infrequently gets a bad press. Negative stereotypes portraying migrants as ‘stealing our jobs’ or ‘scrounging off the taxpayer’ abound in sections of the media and public opinion, es- pecially in times of recession. For others, the word ‘migrant’ may evoke images of people at their most vulnerable. This year’s Human Development Report, Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development, challenges such stereotypes. It seeks to broaden and rebalance perceptions of migration to reflect a more complex and highly variable reality. This report breaks new ground in applying a The report suggests that the policy response human development approach to the study of to migration can be wanting. Many govern- migration. It discusses who migrants are, where ments institute increasingly repressive entry they come from and go to, and why they move. It regimes, turn a blind eye to health and safety looks at the multiple impacts of migration for all violations by employers, or fail to take a lead who are affected by it—not just those who move, in educating the public on the benefits of but also those who stay. immigration. In so doing, the report’s findings cast new By examining policies with a view to ex- light on some common misconceptions. For ex- panding people’s freedoms rather than con- ample, migration from developing to developed trolling or restricting human movement, this countries accounts for only a minor fraction of report proposes a bold set of reforms. It argues human movement. Migration from one develop- that, when tailored to country-specific contexts, ing economy to another is much more common. these changes can amplify human mobility’s Most migrants do not go abroad at all, but in- already substantial contributions to human stead move within their own country. development. Next, the majority of migrants, far from The principal reforms proposed centre being victims, tend to be successful, both before around six areas, each of which has important they leave their original home and on arrival and complementary contributions to make to in their new one. Outcomes in all aspects of human development: opening up existing entry human development, not only income but also channels so that more workers can emigrate; education and health, are for the most part posi- ensuring basic rights for migrants; lowering the tive—some immensely so, with people from the transaction costs of migration; finding solutions poorest places gaining the most. that benefit both destination communities and Reviewing an extensive literature, the report the migrants they receive; making it easier for finds that fears about migrants taking the jobs people to move within their own countries; and or lowering the wages of local people, placing an mainstreaming migration into national develop- unwelcome burden on local services, or costing ment strategies. the taxpayer money, are generally exaggerated. The report argues that while many of these When migrants’ skills complement those of local reforms are more feasible than at first thought, people, both groups benefit. Societies as a whole they nonetheless require political courage. There may also benefit in many ways—ranging from ris- may also be limits to governments’ ability to ing levels of technical innovation to increasingly make swift policy changes while the recession diverse cuisine to which migrants contribute. persists. v
  5. 5. Foreword HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development This is the first Human Development discourse on migration and inform the work of Report for which as Administrator I am writ- development practitioners and policy makers ing the foreword. Like all such reports, this is around the world. an independent study intended to stimulate debate and discussion on an important issue. It is not a statement of either United Nations or UNDP policy. At the same time, by highlighting human mobility as a core component of the human Helen Clark development agenda, it is UNDP’s hope that Administrator the following insights will add value to ongoing United Nations Development Programme The analysis and policy recommendations of this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Development Programme, its Executive Board or its Member States. The report is an independent publication commissioned by UNDP. It is the fruit of a collaborative effort by a team of eminent advisers and the Human Development Report team. Jeni Klugman, Director of the Human Development Report Office, led the effort. vi
  6. 6. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Acknowledgements Acknowledgements This report is the fruit of the efforts, contribu- Statistics; UNHCR; Treaty Section, United tions and support of many people and organiza- Nations Office of Legal Affairs; UNRWA; the tions. I would like to thank Kemal Derviş for World Bank; and WHO. the opportunity to take on the daunting task of The report benefited greatly from intel- Director of the Human Development Report, lectual advice and guidance provided by an and the new UNDP Administrator, Helen academic advisory panel. The panel comprised Clark, for advice and support. Coming back to Maruja Asis, Richard Black, Caroline Brettell, the office after its 20 years of growth and success Stephen Castles, Simon Commander, Jeff Crisp, has been a tremendously rewarding experience, Priya Deshingkar, Cai Fang, Elizabeth Ferris, and I would like to especially thank my fam- Bill Frelick, Sergei Guriev, Gordon Hanson, ily, Ema, Josh and Billy, for their patience and Ricardo Hausmann, Michele Klein-Solomon, support throughout. The dedication and hard Kishore Mahbubani, Andrew Norman Mold, work of the whole HDR team, listed earlier, was Kathleen Newland, Yaw Nyarko, José Antonio critical. Among those who provided important Ocampo, Gustav Ranis, Bonaventure Rutinwa, strategic advice and suggestions, which were es- Javier Santiso, Maurice Schiff, Frances Stewart, pecially critical in pulling the report together, Elizabeth Thomas-Hope, Jeffrey Williamson, were Oliver Bakewell, Martin Bell, Stephen Castles, Ngaire Woods and Hania Zlotnik. Joseph Chamie, Samuel Choritz, Michael Clemens, From the outset, the process involved a Simon Commander, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Hein range of participatory consultations designed de Haas, Frank Laczko, Loren Landau, Manjula to draw on the expertise of researchers, civil Luthria, Gregory Maniatis, Philip Martin, Douglas society advocates, development practitioners Massey, Saraswathi Menon, Frances Stewart, and policy makers from around the globe. This Michael Walton and Kevin Watkins. included 11 informal stakeholder consultations Background studies were commissioned on a held between August 2008 and April 2009 range of thematic issues and published online in in Nairobi, New Delhi, Amman, Bratislava, our Human Development Research Papers series, Manila, Sydney, Dakar, Rio de Janeiro, Geneva, launched in April 2009, and are listed in the bib- Turin and Johannesburg, involving almost 300 liography. A series of 27 seminars that were held experts and practitioners in total. The support between August 2008 and April 2009 likewise of UNDP country and regional offices and provided important stimulus to our thinking and local partners was critical in enabling these the development of ideas, and we would again consultations. Several events were hosted by thank those presenters for sharing their research key partners, including the IOM, the ILO and and insights. We would also like to acknowledge the Migration Policy Institute. Additional aca- the contribution of the national experts who par- demic consultations took place in Washington ticipated in our migration policy assessment. D.C. and Princeton, and HDRO staff partici- The data and statistics used in this report pated in various other regional and global fora, draw significantly upon the databases of other including the Global Forum on Migration and organizations to which we were allowed gener- Development (GFMD) in Manila, preparatory ous access: Andean Development Corporation; meetings for the Athens GFMD, and many con- Development Research Centre on Migration, ferences and seminars organized by other UN University of Sussex; ECLAC; International agencies (e.g. ILO, UNDESA and UNITAR), Migration Institute, Oxford; Inter-Parliamentary universities, think-tanks and non-governmental Union; Internal Displacement Monitoring organizations. Participants in a series of Human Centre; the Department of Statistics and the Development Network discussions provided International Migration Programme of the wide-ranging insights and observations on the ILO; IOM; Luxembourg Income Study; OECD; linkages between migration and human devel- UNICEF; UNDESA, Statistics Division and opment. More details on the process are avail- Population Division; UNESCO Institute for able at http://hdr.undp.org/en/nhdr. vii
  7. 7. Acknowledgements HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development A UNDP Readers Group, comprising repre- Luc Gregoire, Madi Musa, Uladzimir Shcherbau sentatives of all the regional and policy bureaux, and Oscar Yujnovsky. Margaret Chi and provided many useful inputs and suggestions on Solaiman Al-Rifai of the United Nations Office the concept note and report drafts, as did a num- for Project Services provided critical administra- ber of other colleagues who provided inputs and tive support and management services. advice. We would especially thank Amat Alsoswa, The report also benefited from the dedicated Carolina Azevedo, Barbara Barungi, Tony work of a number of interns, namely Shreya Bislimi, Kim Bolduc, Winifred Byanyima, Ajay Basu, Vanessa Alicia Chee, Delphine De Quina, Chhibber, Samuel Choritz, Pedro Conceição, Rebecca Lee Funk, Chloe Yuk Ting Heung, Awa Dabo, Georgina Fekete, Priya Gajraj, Enrique Abid Raza Khan, Alastair Mackay, Grace Parker, Ganuza, Tegegnework Gettu, Rebeca Grynspan, Clare Potter, Limon B. Rodriguez, Nicolas Roy, Sultan Hajiyev, Mona Hammam, Mette Bloch Kristina Shapiro and David Stubbs. Hansen, Mari Huseby, Selim Jahan, Bruce Jenks, We thank all of those involved directly or Arun Kashyap, Olav Kjoren, Paul Ladd, Luis indirectly in guiding our efforts, while acknowl- Felipe López-Calva, Tanni Mukhopadhyay, B. edging sole responsibility for errors of commis- Murali, Theodore Murphy, Mihail Peleah, Amin sion and omission. Sharkawi, Kori Udovicki, Mourad Wahba and Caitlin Wiesen for comments. A team at Green Ink, led by Simon Chater, provided editing services. The design work was carried out by Zago. Guoping Huang developed some of the maps. The production, translation, distribution and promotion of the report ben- efited from the help and support of the UNDP Jeni Klugman Office of Communications, and particularly of Director Maureen Lynch. Translations were reviewed by Human Development Report 2009 viii
  8. 8. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Acronymes Acronyms Acronyms CEDAW United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women CMW United Nations International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families CRC United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ECD Early childhood development ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States EIU Economist Intelligence Unit EU European Union GATS General Agreement on Trade in Services GDP Gross domestic product GCC Gulf Cooperation Council HDI Human Development Index HDR Human Development Report HDRO Human Development Report Office ILO International Labour Organization IOM International Organization for Migration MERCOSUR Mercado Común del Sur (Southern Common Market) MIPEX Migrant Integration Policy Index NGO Non-governmental organization OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development PRS Poverty Reduction Strategy PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper TMBs Treaty Monitoring Bodies UNDESA United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNHCR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics WHO World Health Organization WTO World Trade Organization ix
  9. 9. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Contents Contents Foreword v CHAPTER 4 Acknowledgements vii Acronyms ix Impacts at origin and destination 71 4.1 Impacts at places of origin 71 OVERVIEW 1 4.1.1 Household level effects 71 4.1.2 Community and national level economic effects 76 How and why people move 1 4.1.3 Social and cultural effects 79 Barriers to movement 2 4.1.4 Mobility and national development strategies 82 The case for mobility 3 4.2 Destination place effects 83 Our proposal 3 4.2.1 Aggregate economic impacts 84 The way forward 5 4.2.2 Labour market impacts 85 4.2.3 Rapid urbanization 86 CHAPTER 1 4.2.4 Fiscal impacts 87 Freedom and movement: how mobility can foster human development 9 4.2.5 Perceptions and concerns about migration 89 1.1 Mobility matters 9 4.3 Conclusions 92 1.2 Choice and context: understanding why people move 11 1.3 Development, freedom and human mobility 14 CHAPTER 5 1.4 What we bring to the table 16 Policies to enhance human development outcomes 95 5.1 The core package 96 CHAPTER 2 5.1.1 Liberalizing and simplifying regular channels 96 People in motion: who moves where, when and why 21 5.1.2 Ensuring basic rights for migrants 99 2.1 Human movement today 21 5.1.3 Reducing transaction costs associated with movement 102 2.2 Looking back 28 5.1.4 Improving outcomes for migrants and destination communities 104 2.2.1 The long-term view 28 5.1.5 Enabling benefits from internal mobility 106 2.2.2 The 20th century 30 5.1.6 Making mobility an integral part of national development strategies 108 2.3 Policies and movement 33 5.2 The political feasibility of reform 108 2.4 Looking ahead: the crisis and beyond 40 5.3 Conclusions 112 2.4.1 The economic crisis and the prospects for recovery 41 2.4.2 Demographic trends 43 Notes 113 2.4.3 Environmental factors 45 Bibliography 119 2.5 Conclusions 46 STATISTICAL ANNEX CHAPTER 3 Tables 143 Reader’s guide 203 How movers fare 49 Technical note 208 3.1 Incomes and livelihoods 49 Definition of statistical terms and indicators 209 3.1.1 Impacts on gross income 50 Country classification 213 3.1.2 Financial costs of moving 53 3.2 Health 55 3.3 Education 57 3.4 Empowerment, civic rights and participation 60 3.5 Understanding outcomes from negative drivers 62 3.5.1 When insecurity drives movement 62 3.5.2 Development-induced displacement 64 3.5.3 Human trafficking 65 3.6 Overall impacts 67 3.7 Conclusions 68 xi
  10. 10. Contents HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development BOXES 2.13 Working-age population will increase in developing regions: Projections of working-age population by region, 2010–2050 44 1.1 Estimating the impact of movement 12 3.1 Movers have much higher incomes than stayers: 1.2 How movement matters to the measurement of progress 14 Annual income of migrants in OECD destination countries and 1.3 Basic terms used in this report 15 GDP per capita in origin countries, by origin country HDI category 50 1.4 How do the poor view migration? 16 3.2 Huge salary gains for high-skilled movers: Gaps in average 2.1 Counting irregular migrants 23 professional salaries for selected country pairs, 2002–2006 50 2.2 Conflict-induced movement and trafficking 26 3.3 Significant wage gains to internal movers in Bolivia, especially the 2.3 Migration trends in the former Soviet Union 31 less well educated: Ratio of destination to origin wages for internal 2.4 Global governance of mobility 39 migrants in Bolivia, 2000 51 3.1 China: Policies and outcomes associated with internal migration 52 3.4 Poverty is higher among migrant children, but social transfers can help: 3.2 Independent child migrants 59 Effects of transfers on child poverty in selected countries, 1999–2001 53 3.3 The next generation 60 3.5 Costs of moving are often high: Costs of intermediaries in selected 3.4 Enforcement mechanisms in Malaysia 62 corridors against income per capita, 2006–2008 54 4.1 How cell-phones can reduce money transfer costs: the case of Kenya 74 3.6 Moving costs can be many times expected monthly earnings: 4.2 The 2009 crisis and remittances 75 Costs of movement against expected salary of low-skilled 4.3 Impacts of skills flows on human development 77 Indonesian workers in selected destinations, 2008 54 4.4 Mobility and the development prospects of small states 80 3.7 The children of movers have a much greater chance of surviving: 4.5 Mobility and human development: some developing country perspectives 82 Child mortality at origin versus destination by origin country 5.1 Opening up regular channels—Sweden and New Zealand 97 HDI category, 2000 census or latest round 55 5.2 Experience with regularization 98 3.8 Temporary and irregular migrants often lack access to health care 5.3 Reducing paperwork: a challenge for governments and partners 103 services: Access to health care by migrant status in developed 5.4 Recognition of credentials 105 versus developing countries, 2009 57 5.5 When skilled people emigrate: some policy options 109 3.9 Gains in schooling are greatest for migrants from low-HDI countries: Gross total enrolment ratio at origin versus destination by origin country HDI category, 2000 census or latest round 58 FIGURES 3.10 Migrants have better access to education in developed countries: Access to public schooling by migrant status in developed versus 2.1 Many more people move within borders than across them: developing countries, 2009 58 Internal movement and emigration rates, 2000–2002 22 3.11 Voting rights are generally reserved for citizens: Voting rights in local 2.2 The poorest have the most to gain from moving… elections by migrant status in developed versus developing countries, Differences between destination and origin country HDI, 2000–2002 23 2009 61 2.3 … but they also move less: Emigration rates by HDI and income 25 3.12 School enrolment among refugees often exceeds that of host 2.4 An increasing share of migrants come from developing countries: Share communities in developing countries: Gross primary enrolment ratios— of migrants from developing countries in selected developed countries 32 refugees, host populations and main countries of origin, 2007 64 2.5 Sources and trends of migration into developing countries: Migrants as a 3.13 Significant human development gains to internal movers: share of total population in selected countries, 1960–2000s 33 Ratio of migrants’ to non-migrants’ estimated HDI in selected 2.6 Internal migration rates have increased only slightly: Trends in lifetime developing countries, 1995–2005 67 internal migration intensity in selected countries, 1960–2000s 34 3.14 Migrants are generally as happy as locally-born people: Self-reported 2.7 Global income gaps have widened: Trends in real per capita GDP, happiness among migrants and locally-born people around the world, 1960–2007 35 2005/2006 68 2.8 Welcome the high-skilled, rotate the low-skilled: Openness to legal 4.1 The global recession is expected to impact remittance flows: Projected immigration in developed versus developing countries, 2009 36 trends in remittance flows to developing regions, 2006–2011 75 2.9 Enforcement practices vary: Interventions and procedures regarding 4.2 Skilled workers move similarly across and within nations: Population irregular migrants, 2009 37 and share of skilled workers who migrate internally and internationally 78 2.10 Cross-country evidence shows little support for the ‘numbers versus 4.3 Support for immigration is contingent on job availability: rights’ hypothesis: Correlations between access and treatment 38 Attitudes towards immigration and availability of jobs, 2005/2006 90 2.11 Unemployment is increasing in key migrant destinations: 4.4 When jobs are limited, people favour the locally born: Public opinion Unemployment rates in selected destinations, 2007–2010 41 about job preferences by destination country HDI category, 2005/2006 91 2.12 Migrants are in places hardest hit by the recession: Immigrants’ location 4.5 Many people value ethnic diversity: Popular views about the value and projected GDP growth rates, 2009 42 of ethnic diversity by destination country HDI category, 2005/2006 92 xii
  11. 11. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Contents 5.1 Ratification of migrants’ rights convention has been limited: STATISTICAL ANNEX TABLES Ratification of selected agreements by HDI category, as of 2009 100 5.2 Support for opportunity to stay permanently: A Human movement: snapshots and trends 143 Preferences for temporary versus permanent migration, 2008 110 B International emigrants by area of residence 147 C Education and employment of international migrants in OECD countries (aged 15 years and above) 151 MAPS D Conflict and insecurity-induced movement 155 E International financial flows: remittances, official development 1.1 Borders matter: HDI in United States and Mexican border localities, 2000 10 assistance and foreign direct investment 159 1.2 Migrants are moving to places with greater opportunities: Human F Selected conventions related to human rights and migration development and inter-provincial migration flows in China, 1995–2000 11 (by year of ratification) 163 2.1 Most movement occurs within regions: Origin and destination of G Human development index trends 167 international migrants, circa 2000 24 H Human development index 2007 and its components 171 3.1 Conflict as a driver of movement in Africa: Conflict, instability and I1 Human and income poverty 176 population movement in Africa 63 I2 Human and income poverty: OECD countries 180 4.1 Remittances flow primarily from developed to developing regions: J Gender-related development index and its components 181 Flows of international remittances, 2006–2007 73 K Gender empowerment measure and its components 186 L Demographic trends 191 M Economy and inequality 195 TABLES N Health and education 199 2.1 Five decades of aggregate stability, with regional shifts: Regional distribution of international migrants, 1960–2010 30 2.2 Policy makers say they are trying to maintain existing immigration levels: Views and policies towards immigration by HDI category, 2007 34 2.3 Over a third of countries significantly restrict the right to move: Restrictions on internal movement and emigration by HDI category 40 2.4 Dependency ratios to rise in developed countries and remain steady in developing countries: Dependency ratio forecasts of developed versus developing countries, 2010–2050 45 4.1 PRSs recognize the multiple impacts of migration: Policy measures aimed at international migration in PRSs, 2000–2008 83 xiii
  12. 12. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Overview Overview Consider Juan. Born into a poor family in rural Mexico, his family struggled to pay for his health care and education. At the age of 12, he dropped out of school to help support his family. Six years later, Juan followed his uncle to Canada in pursuit of higher wages and better opportunities. Life expectancy in Canada is five years higher When people move they embark on a journey than in Mexico and incomes are three times of hope and uncertainty whether within or across greater. Juan was selected to work temporarily international borders. Most people move in search in Canada, earned the right to stay and eventu- of better opportunities, hoping to combine their ally became an entrepreneur whose business now own talents with resources in the destination employs native-born Canadians. This is just one country so as to benefit themselves and their im- case out of millions of people every year who find mediate family, who often accompany or follow new opportunities and freedoms by migrating, them. If they succeed, their initiative and efforts benefiting themselves as well as their areas of ori- can also benefit those left behind and the society gin and destination. in which they make their new home. But not all Now consider Bhagyawati. She is a mem- do succeed. Migrants who leave friends and family ber of a lower caste and lives in rural Andhra may face loneliness, may feel unwelcome among Pradesh, India. She travels to Bangalore city people who fear or resent newcomers, may lose with her children to work on construction their jobs or fall ill and thus be unable to access sites for six months each year, earning Rs 60 the support services they need in order to prosper. (US$1.20) per day. While away from home, The 2009 HDR explores how better poli- her children do not attend school because it is cies towards human mobility can enhance too far from the construction site and they do human development. It lays out the case for not know the local language. Bhagyawati is not governments to reduce restrictions on move- entitled to subsidized food or health care, nor ment within and across their borders, so as to does she vote, because she is living outside her expand human choices and freedoms. It argues registered district. Like millions of other inter- for practical measures that can improve pros- nal migrants, she has few options for improving pects on arrival, which in turn will have large her life other than to move to a different city in benefits both for destination communities and search of better opportunities. for places of origin. Our world is very unequal. The huge differ- ences in human development across and within How and why people move countries have been a recurring theme of the Discussions about migration typically start from Human Development Report (HDR) since the perspective of flows from developing coun- it was first published in 1990. In this year’s re- tries into the rich countries of Europe, North port, we explore for the first time the topic of America and Australasia. Yet most movement in migration. For many people in developing the world does not take place between develop- countries moving away from their home town ing and developed countries; it does not even take or village can be the best—sometimes the place between countries. The overwhelming ma- only—option open to improve their life chances. jority of people who move do so inside their own Human mobility can be hugely effective in rais- country. Using a conservative definition, we esti- ing a person’s income, health and education mate that approximately 740 million people are prospects. But its value is more than that: being internal migrants—almost four times as many as able to decide where to live is a key element of those who have moved internationally. Among human freedom. people who have moved across national borders, 1
  13. 13. Overview HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Most migrants, internal just over a third moved from a developing to a de- Barriers to movement and international, reap veloped country—fewer than 70 million people. The share of international migrants in the gains in the form of Most of the world’s 200 million international world’s population has remained remark- higher incomes, better migrants moved from one developing country to ably stable at around 3 percent over the past access to education another or between developed countries. 50 years, despite factors that could have been and health, and Most migrants, internal and international, expected to increase f lows. Demographic improved prospects for reap gains in the form of higher incomes, bet- trends—an aging population in developed their children ter access to education and health, and improved countries and young, still-rising populations in prospects for their children. Surveys of migrants developing countries—and growing employ- report that most are happy in their destination, ment opportunities, combined with cheaper despite the range of adjustments and obstacles communications and transport, have increased typically involved in moving. Once established, the ‘demand’ for migration. However, those migrants are often more likely than local resi- wishing to migrate have increasingly come up dents to join unions or religious and other against government-imposed barriers to move- groups. Yet there are trade-offs and the gains ment. Over the past century, the number of from mobility are unequally distributed. nation states has quadrupled to almost 200, People displaced by insecurity and conflict creating more borders to cross, while policy face special challenges. There are an estimated changes have further limited the scale of mi- 14 million refugees living outside their country gration even as barriers to trade fell. of citizenship, representing about 7 percent of the Barriers to mobility are especially high for world’s migrants. Most remain near the country people with low skills, despite the demand for they fled, typically living in camps until condi- their labour in many rich countries. Policies tions at home allow their return, but around half generally favour the admission of the better a million per year travel to developed countries educated, for instance by allowing students to and seek asylum there. A much larger number, stay after graduation and inviting professionals some 26 million, have been internally displaced. to settle with their families. But governments They have crossed no frontiers, but may face spe- tend to be far more ambivalent with respect to cial difficulties away from home in a country riven low-skilled workers, whose status and treatment by conflict or racked by natural disasters. Another often leave much to be desired. In many coun- vulnerable group consists of people—mainly tries, agriculture, construction, manufacturing young women—who have been trafficked. Often and service sectors have jobs that are filled by duped with promises of a better life, their move- such migrants. Yet governments often try to ro- ment is not one of free will but of duress, some- tate less educated people in and out of the coun- times accompanied by violence and sexual abuse. try, sometimes treating temporary and irregular In general, however, people move of their workers like water from a tap that can be turned own volition, to better-off places. More than on and off at will. An estimated 50 million peo- three quarters of international migrants go to a ple today are living and working abroad with ir- country with a higher level of human develop- regular status. Some countries, such as Thailand ment than their country of origin. Yet they are and the United States, tolerate large numbers significantly constrained, both by policies that of unauthorized workers. This may allow those impose barriers to entry and by the resources individuals to access better paying jobs than at they have available to enable their move. People home, but although they often do the same work in poor countries are the least mobile: for exam- and pay the same taxes as local residents, they ple, fewer than 1 percent of Africans have moved may lack access to basic services and face the risk to Europe. Indeed, history and contemporary of being deported. Some governments, such as evidence suggest that development and migra- those of Italy and Spain, have recognized that tion go hand in hand: the median emigration unskilled migrants contribute to their societies rate in a country with low human development and have regularized the status of those in work, is below 4 percent, compared to more than 8 per- while other countries, such as Canada and New cent from countries with high levels of human Zealand, have well designed seasonal migrant development. programmes for sectors such as agriculture. 2
  14. 14. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Overview While there is broad consensus about the through flows of money, knowledge and ideas. Large gains to value of skilled migration to destination coun- Because migrants tend to come in large num- human development tries, low-skilled migrant workers generate much bers from specific places—for example, Kerala can be achieved controversy. It is widely believed that, while in India or Fujian Province in China—commu- by lowering the these migrants fill vacant jobs, they also displace nity-level effects can typically be larger than na- barriers to movement local workers and reduce wages. Other concerns tional ones. However, over the longer term, the and improving the posed by migrant inflows include heightened flow of ideas from human movement can have treatment of movers risk of crime, added burdens on local services far-reaching effects on social norms and class and the fear of losing social and cultural cohe- structures across a whole country. The outflow sion. But these concerns are often exaggerated. of skills is sometimes seen as negative, particu- While research has found that migration can, in larly for the delivery of services such as educa- certain circumstances, have negative effects on tion or health. Yet, even when this is the case, the locally born workers with comparable skills, the best response is policies that address underlying body of evidence suggests that these effects are structural problems, such as low pay, inadequate generally small and may, in some contexts, be financing and weak institutions. Blaming the entirely absent. loss of skilled workers on the workers themselves largely misses the point, and restraints on their The case for mobility mobility are likely to be counter-productive— This report argues that migrants boost eco- not to mention the fact that they deny the basic nomic output, at little or no cost to locals. human right to leave one’s own country. Indeed, there may be broader positive effects, for However, international migration, even if instance when the availability of migrants for well managed, does not amount to a national childcare allows resident mothers to work out- human development strategy. With few excep- side the home. As migrants acquire the language tions (mainly small island states where more and other skills needed to move up the income than 40 percent of inhabitants move abroad), ladder, many integrate quite naturally, making emigration is unlikely to shape the development fears about inassimilable foreigners—similar prospects of an entire nation. Migration is at best to those expressed early in the 20th century in an avenue that complements broader local and America about the Irish, for example—seem national efforts to reduce poverty and improve equally unwarranted with respect to newcom- human development. These efforts remain as ers today. Yet it is also true that many migrants critical as ever. face systemic disadvantages, making it difficult At the time of writing, the world is undergo- or impossible for them to access local services on ing the most severe economic crisis in over half a equal terms with local people. And these prob- century. Shrinking economies and layoffs are af- lems are especially severe for temporary and ir- fecting millions of workers, including migrants. regular workers. We believe that the current downturn should In migrants’ countries of origin, the impacts be seized as an opportunity to institute a new of movement are felt in higher incomes and deal for migrants—one that will benefit work- consumption, better education and improved ers at home and abroad while guarding against a health, as well as at a broader cultural and so- protectionist backlash. With recovery, many of cial level. Moving generally brings benefits, most the same underlying trends that have been driv- directly in the form of remittances sent to im- ing movement during the past half-century will mediate family members. However, the benefits resurface, attracting more people to move. It is are also spread more broadly as remittances are vital that governments put in place the necessary spent—thereby generating jobs for local work- measures to prepare for this. ers—and as behaviour changes in response to ideas from abroad. Women, in particular, may Our proposal be liberated from traditional roles. Large gains to human development can be The nature and extent of these impacts de- achieved by lowering the barriers to movement pend on who moves, how they fare abroad and and improving the treatment of movers. A bold whether they stay connected to their roots vision is needed to realize these gains. This 3
  15. 15. Overview HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development The two most report sets out a case for a comprehensive set of conditional on local demand. Experience important dimensions reforms that can provide major benefits to mi- suggests that good practices here include: en- of the mobility agenda grants, communities and countries. suring immigrants have the right to change that offer scope for Our proposal addresses the two most im- employers (known as employer portability), better policies are portant dimensions of the mobility agenda offering immigrants the right to apply to admissions and that offer scope for better policies: admissions extend their stay and outlining pathways to treatment and treatment. The reforms laid out in our eventual permanent residence, making pro- proposed core package have medium- to long- visions that facilitate return trips during the term pay-offs. They speak not only to destina- visa period, and allowing the transfer of accu- tion governments but also to governments of mulated social security benefits, as adopted origin, to other key actors—in particular the in Sweden’s recent reform. private sector, unions and non-governmental Destination countries should decide on the organizations—and to individual migrants desired numbers of entrants through political themselves. While policy makers face common processes that permit public discussion and the challenges, they will of course need to design balancing of different interests. Transparent and implement different migration policies mechanisms to determine the number of en- in their respective countries, according to na- trants should be based on employer demand, tional and local circumstances. Certain good with quotas according to economic conditions. practices nevertheless stand out and can be At destination, immigrants are often treated more widely adopted. in ways that infringe on their basic human We highlight six major directions for re- rights. Even if governments do not ratify the form that can be adopted individually but that, international conventions that protect migrant if used together in an integrated approach, can workers, they should ensure that migrants have magnify their positive effects on human devel- full rights in the workplace—to equal pay for opment. Opening up existing entry channels equal work, decent working conditions and so that more workers can emigrate, ensuring collective organization, for example. They may basic rights for migrants, lowering the trans- need to act quickly to stamp out discrimina- action costs of migration, finding solutions tion. Governments at origin and destination that benefit both destination communities can collaborate to ease the recognition of cre- and the migrants they receive, making it easier dentials earned abroad. for people to move within their own countries, The current recession has made migrants par- and mainstreaming migration into national ticularly vulnerable. Some destination country development strategies—all have important governments have stepped up the enforcement and complementary contributions to make to of migration laws in ways that can infringe on human development. migrants’ rights. Giving laid-off migrants the The core package highlights two avenues for opportunity to search for another employer opening up regular existing entry channels: (or at least time to wrap up their affairs before • We recommend expanding schemes for departing), publicizing employment outlooks— truly seasonal work in sectors such as agri- including downturns in source countries—are culture and tourism. Such schemes have al- all measures that can mitigate the disproportion- ready proved successful in various countries. ate costs of the recession borne by both current Good practice suggests that this interven- and prospective migrants. tion should involve unions and employers, For international movement, the transaction together with the destination and source costs of acquiring the necessary papers and meet- country governments, particularly in design- ing the administrative requirements to cross na- ing and implementing basic wage guaran- tional borders are often high, tend to be regressive tees, health and safety standards and provi- (proportionately higher for unskilled people and sions for repeat visits as in the case of New those on short-term contracts) and can also have Zealand, for example. the unintended effect of encouraging irregular • We also propose increasing the number of movement and smuggling. One in ten countries visas for low-skilled people, making this have passport costs that exceed 10 percent of per 4
  16. 16. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Overview capita income; not surprisingly, these costs are this potential and to integrate migration with While not a negatively correlated with emigration rates. Both other aspects of national development policy. A substitute for broader origin and destination governments can simplify critical point that emerges from experience is the development efforts, procedures and reduce document costs, while importance of national economic conditions and migration can be a vital the two sides can also work together to improve strong public-sector institutions in enabling the strategy for households and regulate intermediation services. broader benefits of mobility to be reaped. and families seeking to It is vital to ensure that individual migrants diversify and improve settle in well on arrival, but it is also vital that The way forward their livelihoods the communities they join should not feel un- Advancing this agenda will require strong, en- fairly burdened by the additional demands lightened leadership coupled with a more deter- they place on key services. Where this poses mined effort to engage with the public and raise challenges to local authorities, additional fis- their awareness about the facts around migration. cal transfers may be needed. Ensuring that For origin countries, more systematic consid- migrant children have equal access to educa- eration of the profile of migration and its ben- tion and, where needed, support to catch up efits, costs and risks would provide a better basis and integrate, can improve their prospects and for integrating movement into national develop- avoid a future underclass. Language training is ment strategies. Emigration is not an alternative key—for children at schools, but also for adults, to accelerated development efforts at home, but both through the workplace and through spe- mobility can facilitate access to ideas, knowledge cial efforts to reach women who do not work and resources that can complement and in some outside the home. Some situations will need cases enhance progress. more active efforts than others to combat dis- For destination countries, the ‘how and crimination, address social tensions and, where when’ of reforms will depend on a realistic look relevant, prevent outbreaks of violence against at economic and social conditions, taking into immigrants. Civil society and governments account public opinion and political constraints have a wide range of positive experience in at local and national levels. tackling discrimination through, for example, International cooperation, especially through awareness-raising campaigns. bilateral or regional agreements, can lead to bet- Despite the demise of most centrally planned ter migration management, improved protection systems around the world, a surprising number of migrants’ rights and enhanced contributions of governments—around a third—maintain de of migrants to both origin and destination coun- facto barriers to internal movement. Restrictions tries. Some regions are creating free-movement typically take the form of reduced basic service zones to promote freer trade while enhancing provisions and entitlements for those not regis- the benefits of migration—such as West Africa tered in the local area, thereby discriminating and the Southern Cone of Latin America. The against internal migrants, as is still the case in expanded labour markets created in these regions China. Ensuring equity of basic service provi- can deliver substantial benefits to migrants, their sion is a key recommendation of the report as families and their communities. regards internal migrants. Equal treatment is There are calls to create a new global regime to important for temporary and seasonal workers improve the management of migration: over 150 and their families, for the regions where they go countries now participate in the Global Forum to work, and also to ensure decent service provi- on Migration and Development. Governments, sion back home so that they are not compelled to faced with common challenges, develop com- move in order to access schools and health care. mon responses—a trend we saw emerge while While not a substitute for broader develop- preparing this report. ment efforts, migration can be a vital strategy for Overcoming Barriers fixes human develop- households and families seeking to diversify and ment firmly on the agenda of policy makers who improve their livelihoods, especially in develop- seek the best outcomes from increasingly com- ing countries. Governments need to recognize plex patterns of human movement worldwide. 5
  17. 17. Freedom and movement: how mobility can foster human development 1
  18. 18. The world distribution of opportunities is extremely unequal. This inequality is a key driver of human movement and thus implies that movement has a huge potential for improving human development. Yet movement is not a pure expression of choice—people often move under constraints that can be severe, while the gains they reap from moving are very unequally distributed. Our vision of development as promoting people’s freedom to lead the lives they choose recognizes mobility as an essential component of that freedom. However, movement involves trade-offs for both movers and stayers, and the understanding and analysis of those trade-offs is key to formulating appropriate policies.
  19. 19. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development 1 Freedom and movement: how mobility can foster human development Every year, more than 5 million people cross international borders to go and live in a developed country.1 The number of people who move to a developing nation or within their country is much greater, al- though precise estimates are hard to come by.2 Even larger numbers of people in both destination and source places are affected by the movement of others through flows of money, knowledge and ideas. For people who move, the journey almost always and its HDI. The lowest HDI in a United States entails sacrifices and uncertainty. The possible border county (Starr County, Texas) is above costs range from the emotional cost of separa- even the highest on the Mexican side (Mexicali tion from families and friends to high monetary Municipality, Baja California).4 This pattern fees. The risks can include the physical dangers suggests that moving across national borders of working in dangerous occupations. In some can greatly expand the opportunities available cases, such as those of illegal border crossings, for improved well-being. Alternatively, consider movers face a risk of death. Nevertheless, mil- the direction of human movements when re- lions of people are willing to incur these costs or strictions on mobility are lifted. Between 1984 risks in order to improve their living standards and 1995, the People’s Republic of China pro- and those of their families. gressively liberalized its strict regime of inter- A person’s opportunities to lead a long and nal restrictions, allowing people to move from healthy life, to have access to education, health one region to another. Massive flows followed, care and material goods, to enjoy political free- largely towards regions with higher levels of doms and to be protected from violence are all human development. In this case the patterns strongly influenced by where they live. Someone again suggest that opportunities for improved born in Thailand can expect to live seven more well-being were a key driving factor (map 1.2).5 years, to have almost three times as many years These spatial impressions are supported by of education, and to spend and save eight times more rigorous research that has estimated the as much as someone born in neighbouring effect of changing one’s residence on well-being. Myanmar.3 These differences in opportunity These comparisons are inherently difficult be- create immense pressures to move. cause people who move tend to have different characteristics and circumstances from those who 1.1 Mobility matters do not move (box 1.1). Recent academic studies Witness for example the way in which human that carefully disentangle these complex relations development outcomes are distributed near na- have nonetheless confirmed very large gains from tional boundaries. Map 1.1 compares human moving across international borders. For example, development on either side of the United States– individuals with only moderate levels of formal Mexico border. For this illustration, we use the education who move from a typical developing Human Development Index (HDI)—a sum- country to the United States can reap an annual mary measure of development used throughout income gain of approximately US$10,000— this report to rank and compare countries. A roughly double the average level of per capita pattern that jumps out is the strong correlation income in a developing country.6 Background between the side of the border that a place is on research commissioned for this report found that 9
  20. 20. 1 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Map 1.1 Borders matter HDI in United States and Mexican border localities, 2000 HDI, 2000 0.636 – 0.700 0.701 – 0.765 0.766 – 0.830 0.831 – 0.895 0.896 – 0.950 Mexicali: HDI = 0.757 Starr: HDI = 0.766 Source: Anderson and Gerber (2007a). a family who migrates from Nicaragua to Costa exploitative working conditions sometimes as- Rica increases the probability that their child will sociated with domestic work and the lack of re- be enrolled in primary school by 22 percent.7 dress mechanisms can trap migrant women in a These disparities do not explain all movement. vicious circle of poverty and HIV vulnerability.8 An important part of movement occurs in response The same study found that many countries test to armed conflict. Some people emigrate to avoid migrants for HIV and deport those found to political repression by authoritarian states. Moving carry the virus; few source countries have re-in- can provide opportunities for people to escape the tegration programs for migrants who are forced traditional roles that they were expected to fulfil in to return as a result of their HIV status.9 their society of origin. Young people often move in Movement across national borders is only search of education and broader horizons, intend- part of the story. Movement within national ing to return home eventually. As we discuss in borders is actually larger in magnitude and has more detail in the next section, there are multiple enormous potential to enhance human devel- drivers of, and constraints on, movement that ac- opment. This is partly because relocating to an- count for vastly different motives and experiences other country is costly. Moving abroad not only among movers. Nevertheless, opportunity and as- involves substantial monetary costs for fees and piration are frequently recurring themes. travel (which tend to be regressive—see chapter Movement does not always lead to better 3), but may also mean living in a very different human development outcomes. A point that we culture and leaving behind your network of emphasize throughout this report is that vast friends and relations, which can impose a heavy inequalities characterize not only the freedom if unquantifiable psychological burden. The lift- to move but also the distribution of gains from ing of what were often severe barriers to internal movement. When the poorest migrate, they movement in a number of countries (including often do so under conditions of vulnerability but not limited to China) has benefited many that reflect their limited resources and choices. of the world’s poorest people—an impact on The prior information they have may be limited human development that would be missed if or misleading. Abuse of migrant female do- we were to adopt an exclusive focus on interna- mestic workers occurs in many cities and coun- tional migration. tries around the world, from Washington and The potential of enhanced national and inter- London to Singapore and the Gulf Cooperation national mobility to increase human well-being Council (GCC) states. Recent research in leads us to expect that it should be a major focus the Arab states found that the abusive and of attention among development policy makers 10
  21. 21. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development 1 and researchers. This is not the case. The academic Refugees (UNHCR), and on discussions in such literature dealing with the effects of migration arenas as the Global Forum on Migration and is dwarfed by research on the consequences of Development, we argue that migration deserves international trade and macroeconomic poli- greater attention from governments, interna- cies, to name just two examples.10 While the tional organizations and civil society.12 This is international community boasts an established not only because of the large potential gains to institutional architecture for governing trade the world as a whole from enhanced movement, and financial relations among countries, the but also because of the substantial risks faced by governance of mobility has been well character- many who move—risks that could be at least ized as a non-regime (with the important excep- partly offset by better policies. tion of refugees).11 This report is part of ongoing efforts to redress this imbalance. Building on 1.2 Choice and context: the recent work of organizations such as the understanding why people move International Organization for Migration There is huge variation in the circumstances sur- (IOM), the International Labour Organization rounding human movement. Thousands of Chin (ILO), the World Bank and the Office of have emigrated to Malaysia in recent years to es- the United Nations High Commissioner for cape persecution by Myanmar’s security forces, Map 1.2 Migrants are moving to places with greater opportunities Human development and inter-provincial migration flows in China, 1995–2000 HDI, 1995 0.000 – 0.600 0.601 – 0.700 0.701 – 0.800 0.801 – 1 Number of migrants, 1995–2000 > 2,500,000 No data 1,000,000– 2,500,000 150,000–1,000,000 Source: UNDP (2008a) and He (2004). 11
  22. 22. 1 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development Box 1.1 Estimating the impact of movement Key methodological considerations affect the measurement of both or on particular skill groups. These may still be subject to selection returns to individuals and effects on places reported in the exten- bias associated with individual choices of location. A key issue, dis- sive literature on migration. Obtaining a precise measure of impacts cussed in chapter 4, is whether the migrants’ skills substitute for or requires a comparison between the well-being of someone who mi- complement those of local people; determining this requires accurate grates and their well-being had they stayed in their original place. measures of these skills. The latter is an unknown counterfactual and may not be adequately One increasingly popular approach seeks to exploit quasi- or proxied by the status of non-migrants. Those who move internation- manufactured randomization to estimate impacts. For example, New ally tend to be better educated and to have higher levels of initial Zealand’s Pacific Access Category allocated a set of visas randomly, income than those who do not, and so can be expected to be better allowing the impact of migration to be assessed by comparing lottery off than those who stay behind. There is evidence that this phenom- winners with unsuccessful applicants. enon—known technically as migrant selectivity—is also present in There is also an important temporal dimension. Migration has internal migration (see chapter 2). Comparisons of groups with similar high upfront costs and the gains may take time to accrue. For ex- observable characteristics (gender, education, experience, etc.) can ample, returns in the labour market tend to improve significantly be more accurate but still omit potentially important characteristics, over time as country-specific skills are learned and recognized. A such as attitudes towards risk. migrant’s decision to return is an additional complication, affecting There are a host of other methodological problems. Difficulties the period over which impacts should be measured. in identifying causality plague estimates of the impact of remittances Finally, as we discuss in more detail in the next chapter, migration on household consumption. Understanding how migration affects analysis faces major data constraints. Even in the case of rich coun- labour markets in the destination place is also problematic. Most tries, comparisons are often difficult to make for very basic reasons, studies have tried to look at the impact on wages at the regional level such as differences in the definition of migrants. Source: Clemens, Montenegro and Pritchett (2008), McKenzie, Gibson and Stillman (2006). but live under constant fear of detection by civil- migration, to take one example, covers cases rang- ian paramilitary groups.13 More than 3,000 people ing from Tajik workers in the Russian Federation are believed to have drowned between 1997 and construction industry, impelled to migrate by 2005 in the Straits of Gibraltar while trying to harsh economic conditions in a country where enter Europe illegally on makeshift boats.14 These most people live on less than US$2 a day, to highly experiences contrast with those of hundreds of coveted East Asian computer engineers recruited poor Tongans who have won a lottery to settle in by the likes of Motorola and Microsoft. New Zealand, or of the hundreds of thousands of Conventional approaches to migration Poles who moved to better paid jobs in the United tend to suffer from compartmentalization. Kingdom under the free mobility regime of the Distinctions are commonly drawn between mi- European Union introduced in 2004. grants according to whether their movement is Our report deals with various types of move- classed as forced or voluntary, internal or interna- ment, including internal and international, tem- tional, temporary or permanent, or economic or porary and permanent, and conflict-induced. non-economic. Categories originally designated The usefulness of casting a broad net over all to establish legal distinctions for the purpose of of these cases might be questioned. Are we not governing entry and treatment can end up play- talking about disparate phenomena, with widely ing a dominant role in conceptual and policy different causes and inherently dissimilar out- thinking. Over the past decade, scholars and pol- comes? Wouldn’t our purpose be better served icy makers have begun to question these distinc- if we limited our focus to one type of migration tions, and there is growing recognition that their and studied in detail its causes, consequences proliferation obscures rather than illuminates the and implications? processes underlying the decision to move, with We don’t think so. While broad types of potentially harmful effects on policy-making.15 human movement do vary significantly in their In nearly all instances of human movement drivers and outcomes, this is also true of more spe- we can see the interaction of two basic forces, cific cases within each type. International labour which vary in the degree of their influence. On 12
  23. 23. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2009 Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development 1 the one hand we have individuals, families and to conceptualize migration flows focused on dif- Theories that sometimes communities, who decide to move of ferences in living standards, in recent years there emphasize purely their own free will in order to radically alter their has been growing understanding that these differ- economic factors fail circumstances. Indeed, even when people are im- ences only partly explain movement patterns.20 In to capture the broader pelled to move by very adverse conditions, the particular, if movement responds only to income social framework in choices they make almost always play a vital role. differentials, it is hard to explain why many suc- which decisions to Research among Angolan refugees settling in cessful migrants choose to return to their country migrate are taken northwest Zambia, for example, has shown that of origin after several years abroad. Furthermore, many were motivated by the same aspirations if migration were purely determined by wage dif- that impel those who are commonly classified as ferences, then we would expect to see large move- economic migrants.16 Similarly, Afghans fleeing ments from poor to rich countries and very little conflict go to Pakistan or Iran via the same routes movement among rich countries—but neither of and trading networks established decades ago for these patterns holds in practice (chapter 2). the purposes of seasonal labour migration.17 These observed patterns led to several strands On the other hand, choices are rarely, if ever, of research. Some scholars recognized that a unconstrained. This is evident for those who focus on the individual distracts from what is move to escape political persecution or economic typically a family decision and indeed strategy deprivation, but it is also vital for understanding (as when some family members move while oth- decisions where there is less compulsion. Major ers stay at home). 21 The need to go beyond the factors relating to the structure of the economy assumption of perfectly competitive markets and of society, which are context-specific but also also became increasingly evident. In particu- change over time, frame decisions to move as well lar, credit markets in developing countries are as to stay. This dynamic interaction between indi- highly imperfect, while household livelihoods vidual decisions and the socio-economic context often depend on such volatile sectors as agri- in which they are taken—sometimes labelled in culture. Sending a family member elsewhere sociological parlance the ‘agency–structure inter- allows the family to diversify against the risk action’—is vital for understanding what shapes of bad outcomes at home.22 Other researchers human behaviour. The evolution over time of key emphasized how structural characteristics and structural factors is dealt with in chapter 2. long-run trends in both origin and destination Consider the case of the tens of thousands of places—often labelled ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors— Indonesian immigrants who enter Malaysia every shape the context in which movement occurs. year. These flows are driven largely by the wide Movement, for example, can result from grow- income differentials between these countries. But ing concentration in the ownership of assets such the scale of movement has also grown steadily as land, making it difficult for people to subsist since the 1980s, whereas the income gap be- through their traditional modes of production.23 tween the two countries has alternately widened It was also recognized that the opportunities and narrowed over the same period.18 Broader available to migrants are constrained by barriers socio-economic processes have clearly played a to entry, as we discuss in chapters 2 and 3, and part. Malaysian industrialization in the 1970s by the way in which labour markets function, as and 1980s generated a massive movement of shown by the considerable evidence that both in- Malays from the countryside to the cities, creat- ternational and internal migrants are channelled ing acute labour scarcity in the agricultural sector into lower-status and worse-paid occupations. at a time when the commercialization of farming Most importantly, theories that empha- and rapid population growth were producing a size purely economic factors fail to capture the surplus of agricultural labour in Indonesia. The broader social framework in which decisions are fact that most Indonesians are of similar ethnic, taken. For example, young men among the lower linguistic and religious backgrounds to Malays caste Kolas in the Central Gujarat region of India doubtless facilitated the flows.19 commonly seek factory jobs outside their village Recognition of the role of structural factors in order to break away from subordinate caste in determining human movement has had a deep relations. This occurs despite the fact that fac- impact on migration studies. While early attempts tory wages are not higher, and in some cases are 13

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