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Migrant Rights, Immigration Policy and Human Development


  • Martin Ruhs

    () (ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford)


This paper explores the potential impacts of the rights of migrant workers (“migrant rights”) on the human development of actual and potential migrants, their families, and other people in migrants’ countries of origin. A key feature of the paper is its consideration of how migrant rights affect both the capability to move and work in higher income countries (i.e. the access of workers in low-income countries to labour markets of higher-income countries) and capabilities while living and working abroad. The paper suggests that there may be a trade-off between the number and some of the rights of low-skilled migrants admitted to high-income countries and explores the implications for human development.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Ruhs, 2009. "Migrant Rights, Immigration Policy and Human Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-23, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
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    6. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal of Fortune: Geography and Institutions in the Making of the Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294.
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    13. Quah, Danny, 1996. "Twin peaks : growth and convergence in models of distribution dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2278, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    More about this item


    Migrant rights; immigration policy; human development; global labor markets;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration


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