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Income per Natural: Measuring Development for People Rather Than Places

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  • Michael A. Clemens
  • Lant Pritchett

Abstract

It is easy to learn the average income of a resident of El Salvador or Albania. But there is no systematic source of information on the average income of a Salvadoran or Albanian. We estimate a new statistic: income per natural—the mean annual income of all people born in a given country, regardless of where those people now reside. Income per natural often differs substantially from income per resident, both in its mean and in its distribution. A large part of this difference is caused by movement across borders. Indeed, for people from a number of developing countries, departing their country of birth is one of the most important sources of poverty reduction and material advancement. If economic development is that which raises human well‐being, then crossing international borders is not an alternative to economic development; it is a form of economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per Natural: Measuring Development for People Rather Than Places," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(3), pages 395-434, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:34:y:2008:i:3:p:395-434
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2008.00230.x
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2008.00230.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Fasani & Tommaso Frattini & Luigi Minale, 2017. "The (Struggle for) Labour Market Integration of Refugees: Evidence from European Countries," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1716, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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    3. Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús & Rapoport, Hillel, 2014. "Tradable immigration quotas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 94-108.
    4. Pritchett, Lant, 2018. "Alleviating Global Poverty: Labor Mobility, Direct Assistance, and Economic Growth," Working Paper Series rwp18-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    5. Adriana Jaramillo & Alan Ruby & Fabrice Henard & Hafedh Zaafrane, 2011. "Internationalization of Higher Education in MENA : Policy Issues Associated with Skills Formation and Mobility," World Bank Other Operational Studies 19461, The World Bank.
    6. Alan de Brauw & Valerie Mueller & Tassew Woldehanna, 2018. "Does Internal Migration Improve Overall Well-Being in Ethiopia?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 27(3), pages 367-367.
    7. Fasani, Francesco & Frattini, Tommaso & Minale, Luigi, 2018. "(The Struggle for) Refugee Integration into the Labour Market: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 11333, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Edmundo Murrugarra & Jennica Larrison & Marcin Sasin, 2011. "Migration and Poverty : Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2535.
    9. Luca Marchiori & I-Ling Shen & Frédéric Docquier, 2013. "Brain Drain In Globalization: A General Equilibrium Analysis From The Sending Countries' Perspective," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1582-1602, April.
    10. Bakewell Oliver, 2009. "Migration, Diasporas and Development: Some Critical Perspectives," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(6), pages 787-802, December.
    11. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.
    12. Michael Clemens, 2010. "A Labor Mobility Agenda for Development," Working Papers 201, Center for Global Development.
    13. John Gibson & David McKenzie, 2012. "The Economic Consequences of ‘Brain Drain’ of the Best and Brightest: Microeconomic Evidence from Five Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 339-375, May.
    14. Artuc, Erhan & Docquier, Frédéric & Özden, Çaglar & Parsons, Christopher, 2015. "A Global Assessment of Human Capital Mobility: The Role of Non-OECD Destinations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 6-26.
    15. Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga & Hillel Rapoport, 2013. "Tradable Immigration Quotas," CESifo Working Paper Series 4087, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Yang, Dean, 2009. "International Migration and Human Development," MPRA Paper 19212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Kox, Henk L.M., 2011. "The future of the fence around the European labour market," MPRA Paper 31722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Halahingano Rohorua & Steven Stillman, 2018. "The Long-term Impacts of International Migration: Evidence from a Lottery," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 32(1), pages 127-147.
    19. Michael A. Clemens, 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
    20. David McKenzie, 2014. "The tyranny of experts: economists, dictators, and the forgotten rights of the poor, by William Easterly," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 211-214, June.
    21. Calogero Carletto & Jennica Larrison & Çaglar Özden, 2014. "Informing migration policies: a data primer," Chapters, in: Robert E.B. Lucas (ed.), International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development, chapter 2, pages 9-41, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis, 2017. "Does talent migration increase inequality? A quantitative assessment in football labour market," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 150-166.
    23. Daniel Ortega, 2010. "Human Development of Peoples," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 229-257.
    24. Iranzo, Susana & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "Migration and trade: Theory with an application to the Eastern-Western European integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-19, September.

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