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Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: What Do We Know?


  • Louka T. Katseli
  • Robert E.B. Lucas
  • Theodora Xenogiani


This report evaluates the evidence on how migration may promote or hinder development in countries of origin, and explores possible win-win solutions for both sending and receiving countries. The analysis of recent OECD data of foreign-born nationals into Europe documents the presence of multiple migration patterns and reveals that the EU lags significantly behind the United States in attracting highly-skilled migrants who originate mostly from Africa. Reviewing the analytical and empirical evidence on the economic and social costs and benefits of migration and remittances for sending countries reveals that migration can generate substantial direct and indirect gains for sending countries via employment generation, human capital accumulation, remittances, diaspora networks and return migration. Policy coherence across various policies including migration, trade, investment and development cooperation can augment these gains. Major challenges for EU policymaking to maximise the gains from migration for both sending and receiving countries could include better management of migration and human resources, smart visa policies to facilitate circular migration and greater synergies between migration and development assistance programmes in the context of poverty reduction strategy initiatives. Comment les migrations peuvent-elles favoriser ou faire obstacle au développement dans les pays d’origine ? Ce rapport explore les solutions qui pourraient être gagnantes à la fois pour les pays d’envoi et d’accueil. L’analyse des données récentes de l’OCDE sur les ressortissants étrangers en Europe rend compte de l’existence de nombreux facteurs de migration. Elle démontre que l’Europe est sensiblement en retard par rapport aux Etats-Unis pour attirer des migrants hautement qualifiés, principalement originaires d’Afrique. Les preuves analytiques et empiriques des coûts et des bénéfices économiques et sociaux provoqués par les migrations ainsi que des transferts de fonds des pays révèlent que les migrations peuvent générer des gains substantiels directs et indirects pour les pays via les créations d’emploi, l’accumulation de capital, les transferts de fonds, les réseaux de dispersion et les retours de migrations. Pour augmenter ces gains, il faut une cohérence entre les nombreuses politiques qui touchent aux migrations, au commerce, à l’investissement et à la coopération pour le développement. Les principaux défis des politiques européennes pour maximiser les gains des migrations pour les pays d’origine et d’accueil pourraient ainsi passer par une meilleure gestion des ressources humaines, par des politiques de visa intelligentes en vue de faciliter les migrations circulaires et par une meilleure synergie entre les migrations et les programmes d’aide au développement, et ce dans le cadre des initiatives prises autour de la stratégie actuelle de réduction de la pauvreté.

Suggested Citation

  • Louka T. Katseli & Robert E.B. Lucas & Theodora Xenogiani, 2006. "Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: What Do We Know?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 250, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:devaaa:250-en

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