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Migration Remittances and Development: A Review of Global Evidence


  • John Page
  • Sonia Plaza


A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the topic of migration and remittances over the last few years. Early studies on immigration policy assumed that migrants leave their countries, settle in a new country, start integrating in their new society, and abandon their ties with their country of origin. Today, however, globalization makes it possible for immigrants to remain connected with their native countries while residing abroad. To address the latest developments on migration and remittances, the authors provide a global survey of the analytical and empirical literature on these issues. This paper reviews evidence on how migrants contribute to the economic development of their countries of origin. In addition to describing the state of knowledge regarding flows of people and migrant remittances worldwide, it focuses on the current literature dealing with the development impact of transfers of money, knowledge, and skills by migrants back to their home countries. The paper also examines the complex question of the impact of highly skilled migration on labor sending countries. There is a continuing debate over what role migration should play in the mix of policies available in order to promote economic development. Although mechanisms for liberalizing goods, services and capital markets are in place, the international mobility of labor still faces stringent restrictions. The paper, therefore, reviews proposed mechanisms to strengthen the governance of international migration, including policy options to make migration management bilateral, regional, or global. It also considers the relationship between international trade and development policies and migration policies, including how to tap to the diaspora. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John Page & Sonia Plaza, 2006. "Migration Remittances and Development: A Review of Global Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 245-336, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:15:y:2006:i:2:p:245-336

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