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Information and Communication Technologies and Migration


  • Jean-Yves Hamel

    () (Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme)


Surveying existing literature, this paper starts by identifying links between attainments in human development and the presence of ICTs. The research then looks at instances where ICTs affect the opportunity for migration and how they affect its outcomes. We will see how migrants are making use of ICTs and the importance that these technologies have come to occupy in their life. Attempting to illustrate both positive and negative implications of the roles of ICTs in human mobility, this paper surveys research that demonstrates how ICTs are used in both regular and irregular migration, in maintaining family relations, in sustaining cultural identities, and in supporting a family from abroad. We will see that ICTs have not replaced older forms of communication but that they have greatly increased the range of available options for communications. Throughout the text, this paper also includes the roles of governments and civil society in working to increase access and use of ICTs while also making mention of instances where they actively pursue the opposite. As we will see, the skills necessary for use of ICTs and the infrastructure necessary for their access can be found in all countries of the world, albeit in unequal distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Yves Hamel, 2009. "Information and Communication Technologies and Migration," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-39, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Aug 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdr:papers:hdrp-2009-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oecd, 2008. "Measuring the Impacts of ICT Using Official Statistics," OECD Digital Economy Papers 136, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item


    Information and communication technologies; diaspora; migration; ict; ict4d;

    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
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty


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