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Quantifying international migration : a database of bilateral migrant stocks

  • Parsons, Christopher R.
  • Skeldon, Ronald
  • Walmsley, Terrie L.
  • Winters, L. Alan

This paper introduces four versions of an international bilateral migration stock database for 226 by 226 countries and territories. The first three versions each consist of two matrices, the first containing migrants defined by country of birth, that is, the foreign-born population; the second, by nationality, that is, the foreign population. Wherever possible, the information is collected from the 2000 round of censuses, though older data are included where this information was unavailable. The first version of the matrices contains as much data as could be collated at the time of writing but also contains gaps. The later versions progressively use a variety of techniques to estimate the missing data. The final matrix, comprising only the foreign-born, attempts to reconcile all of the available information to provide the researcher with a single and complete matrix of international bilateral migrant stocks. The final section of the paper describes some of the patterns evident in the database. For example, immigration to the United States is dominated by Latin America, whereas Western European immigration draws heavily on Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean region. Over one-third of world migration is from developing to industrial countries and about a quarter between developing countries. Intra-developed country and intra-FSU (former Soviet Union) flows each account for about 15 percent of the total. Over half of migration is between countries with linguistic ties. Africa accounts for 8 percent of Western Europe's immigration and much less of that to other rich regions.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4165.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4165
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  1. Hildebrandt, Nicole & McKenzie, David, 2005. "The effects of migration on child health in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3573, The World Bank.
  2. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2006. "Migration and education inequality in rural Mexico," INTAL Working Papers 1446, Inter-American Development Bank, INTAL.
  3. Walmsley, Terrie & McDougall, Robert, 2006. "Using Entropy to Compare IO tables," GTAP Research Memoranda 1676, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  4. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
  5. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Rethinking The Brain Drain," Discussion Papers 18770, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  6. Pierpaolo Giannoccolo, 2004. "The Brain Drain. A Survey of the Literature," Working Papers 20060302, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Dipartimento di Statistica, revised Mar 2006.
  7. Timothy Hatton & Jeffery Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 458, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  9. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
  10. Simon Commander & Mari Kangasniemi & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "The Brain Drain: Curse or Boon? A Survey of the Literature," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 235-278 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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