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Migration and Poverty : Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor

Author

Listed:
  • Edmundo Murrugarra
  • Jennica Larrison
  • Marcin Sasin

Abstract

Migration has historically been a source of opportunities for people to improve their lives and those of their families. Today, the large differences in income between places-particularly countries-continue to motivate individuals to escape poverty through migration. The potential advantages of migration for sending countries are numerous. Through remittances, migration provides a means of improving income and smoothing consumption; it enables households to overcome the lack of credit and cushion the risks involved in engaging in more productive activities; and migration can also act as a coping strategy in times of distress. Remittances can be spent on investments, such as housing and schooling, and directly on household consumption. Furthermore, new skills and education may be acquired at the place of destination and transferred back to the place of origin. This volume argues that although migration increases income and often reduces poverty, the migration opportunities of the poor are different-among the poor there are fewer migrants, and they travel to 'cheaper' destinations with lower returns. The main barriers to emigration encountered by the poor are lack of opportunities and high costs. This translates into lower returns and, very likely, less poverty reduction. As a result of this cyclical interconnection, the poverty-reducing potential that migration holds for developing countries is often not maximized.

Suggested Citation

  • Edmundo Murrugarra & Jennica Larrison & Marcin Sasin, 2011. "Migration and Poverty : Toward Better Opportunities for the Poor," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2535, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2535
    as

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    File URL: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/2535/582840PUB0ID231ration09780821384367.pdf?sequence=1
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David McKenzie & Pilar Garcia Martinez & L. Alan Winters, 2008. "Who is coming from Vanuatu to New Zealand under the new Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) Program?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0806, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    2. repec:nbr:nberch:13573 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Riccardo Faini, 2007. "Remittances and the Brain Drain: Do More Skilled Migrants Remit More?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 177-191, May.
    4. John Gibson & Geua Boe-Gibson & Halahingano Rohorua & David McKenzie, 2007. "Efficient remittance services for development in the Pacific," Asia-Pacific Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 14(2), pages 55-74, December.
    5. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    8. World Bank, 2008. "Finance for All? Policies and Pitfalls in Expanding Access," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6905, May.
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