IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Impact of migration on economic and social development : a review of evidence and emerging issues

  • Ratha, Dilip
  • Mohapatra, Sanket
  • Scheja, Elina

This paper provides a review of the literature on the development impact of migration and remittances on origin countries and on destination countries in the South. International migration is an ever-growing phenomenon that has important development implications for both sending and receiving countries. For a sending country, migration and the resulting remittances lead to increased incomes and poverty reduction, and improved health and educational outcomes, and promote economic development. Yet these gains might come at substantial social costs to the migrants and their families. Since many developing countries are also large recipients of international migrants, they face challenges of integration of immigrants, job competition between migrant and native workers, and fiscal costs associated with provision of social services to the migrants. This paper also summarizes incipient discussions on the impacts of migration on climate change, democratic values, demographics, national identity, and security. In conclusion, the paper highlights a few policy recommendations calling for better integration of migration in development policies in the South and the North, improving data collection on migration and remittance flows, leveraging remittances for improving access to finance of recipient households and countries, improving recruitment mechanisms, and facilitating international labor mobility through safe and legal channels.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5558.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5558
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge & Adams, Richard H., Jr. & Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro, 2005. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty: Evidence from Rural Mexico," Working Papers 60287, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  2. Jihad Dagher & Ralph Chami & Peter J Montiel & Yasser Abdih, 2008. "Remittances and Institutions; Are Remittances a Curse?," IMF Working Papers 08/29, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Michael A. Clemens, 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-08, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  4. Gustafsson, Bjorn & Makonnen, Negatu, 1993. "Poverty and Remittances in Lesotho," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 2(1), pages 49-73, May.
  5. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration, and Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 135-69, July.
  6. Sanjeev Gupta & Catherine A Pattillo & Smita Wagh, 2007. "Impact of Remittances on Poverty and Financial Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 07/38, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Rethinking The Brain Drain," Discussion Papers 18770, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  8. Frederic, DOCQUIER & Hillel, RAPOPORT & I-Leng Shen, 2007. "Remittances and inequality : A dynamic migration model," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2007003, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  9. Juan Miguel Gallego & Mariapia Mendola, 2009. "Labor Migration and Social Networks Participation: Evidence from Southern Mozambique," Development Working Papers 279, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  10. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-134/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Michael T. Gapen & Ralph Chami & Peter J Montiel & Adolfo Barajas & Connel Fullenkamp, 2009. "Do Workers’ Remittances Promote Economic Growth?," IMF Working Papers 09/153, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Marchiori, Luca & Shen, I-Ling & Docquier, Frédéric, 2009. "Brain Drain in Globalization: A General Equilibrium Analysis from the Sending Countries' Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 4207, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Beine, Michel & Docquier, Frédéric & Schiff, Maurice, 2008. "International Migration, Transfers of Norms and Home Country Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 3912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Michael Clemens, 2007. "Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration," Working Papers 114, Center for Global Development.
  15. Gianmarco León & Valerie Koechlin, 2006. "International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6716, Inter-American Development Bank.
  16. McKenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2006. "Can migration reduce educational attainment ? Evidence from Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3952, The World Bank.
  17. Raju J Singh & Kyung-woo Lee & Markus Haacker, 2009. "Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Working Papers 09/216, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2002. "Does Border Enforcement Protect U.S. Workers From Illegal Immigration?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 73-92, February.
  19. Rolando Avendaño & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto Parra, 2009. "Are Workers' Remittances Relevant for Credit Rating Agencies?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 282, OECD Publishing.
  20. Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Paola Giuliano, 2005. "Remittances, Financial Development, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 05/234, International Monetary Fund.
  21. Dean Yang, 2005. "Coping With Disaster: The Impact of Hurricanes on International Financial Flows, 1970-2001," Working Papers 534, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  22. Ralph Chami & Connel Fullenkamp & Samir Jahjah, 2005. "Are Immigrant Remittance Flows a Source of Capital for Development?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 55-81, April.
  23. Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & David Roland-Holst, 2009. "Global Economic Prospects for Increasing Developing Country Migration into Developed Countries," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-50, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Oct 2009.
  24. Ratha, Dilip & De, Prabal K. & Mohapatra, Sanket, 2011. "Shadow Sovereign Ratings for Unrated Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 295-307, March.
  25. Jacqueline Irving & Sanket Mohapatra & Dilip Ratha, 2010. "Migrant Remittance Flows : Findings from a Global Survey of Central Banks," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 5929.
  26. Robert E. Baldwin & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald04-1, September.
  27. David J. McKenzie & Nicole Hildebrandt, 2005. "The Effects of Migration on Child Health in Mexico," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2005), pages 257-289, August.
  28. Robert E.B. Lucas, 2006. "Migration and Economic Development in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 337-395, December.
  29. Adams, Richard H., Jr., 1991. "The effects of international remittances on poverty, inequality, and development in rural Egypt:," Research reports 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  30. Kym Anderson & L. Alan Winters, 2009. "The Challenge of Reducing International Trade and Migration Barriers," School of Economics Working Papers 2009-10, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  31. Ortega, Francesc & Peri, Giovanni, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," MPRA Paper 19183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  32. Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2006. "Migrants' Remittances and the Household in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 426-462, December.
  33. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, 08.
  34. Michael Clemens, 2010. "A Labor Mobility Agenda for Development," Working Papers 201, Center for Global Development.
  35. Dean Yang & HwaJung Choi, 2005. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," Working Papers 535, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  36. Ralph Chami & Yasser Abdih & Amine Mati & Michael T. Gapen, 2009. "Fiscal Sustainability in Remittance-Dependent Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/190, International Monetary Fund.
  37. Yves Bourdet & Hans Falck, 2006. "Emigrants' remittances and Dutch Disease in Cape Verde," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 267-284.
  38. Ghosh, Jayati, 2009. "Migration and gender empowerment: Recent trends and emerging issues," MPRA Paper 19181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  39. Taylor, J. Edward, 1992. "Remittances and inequality reconsidered: Direct, indirect, and intertemporal effects," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 187-208, April.
  40. Valero-Gil, Jorge, 2008. "Remittances and the household’s expenditures on health," MPRA Paper 9572, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  41. Aggarwal, Reena & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Pería, Maria Soledad Martínez, 2011. "Do remittances promote financial development?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 255-264, November.
  42. Gemechu Ayana Aga & Christian Eigen-Zucchi & Sonia Plaza & Ani Rudra Silwal, 2013. "Migration and Development Brief, No. 20," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17020, The World Bank.
  43. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, December.
  44. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 1999. "Pauvreté, ménages et genre en Afrique subsaharienne," Série de recherche 03, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  45. Yang, Dean, 2005. "International migration, human capital, and entrepreneurship : evidence from Philippine migrants'exchange rate shocks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3578, The World Bank.
  46. Dalia S Hakura & Ralph Chami & Peter J Montiel, 2009. "Remittances; An Automatic Output Stabilizer?," IMF Working Papers 09/91, International Monetary Fund.
  47. Oded Stark & J. Taylor, 1989. "Relative deprivation and international migration oded stark," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-14, February.
  48. Edwards, Alejandra Cox & Ureta, Manuelita, 2003. "International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 429-461, December.
  49. Dilip Ratha, 2006. "Leveraging remittances for development," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 173-185.
  50. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3946, The World Bank.
  51. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
  52. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David & Jianping Yan, 2007. "The impact of sea level rise on developing countries : a comparative analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4136, The World Bank.
  53. Dustmann, Christian & Fadlon, Itzhak & Weiss, Yoram, 2011. "Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 58-67, May.
  54. Ratha, Dilip & Mohapatra, Sanket & Plaza, Sonia, 2008. "Beyond aid : new sources and innovative mechanisms for financing development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4609, The World Bank.
  55. Aaditya Mattoo & Deepak Mishra, 2009. "Foreign Professionals in the United States: Regulatory Impediments to Trade," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 435-456, June.
  56. Dasgupta, Susmita & Huq, Mainul & Khan, Zahirul Huq & Ahmed, Manjur Murshed Zahid & Mukherjee, Nandan & Khan, Malik Fida & Pandey, Kiran, 2010. "Vulnerability of bangladesh to cyclones in a changing climate : potential damages and adaptation cost," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5280, The World Bank.
  57. Michael Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per natural: Measuring development as if people mattered more than places," Working Papers 143, Center for Global Development.
  58. Richard H. Adams, 2006. "International Remittances and the Household: Analysis and Review of Global Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 396-425, December.
  59. Suhas L. Ketkar & Dilip Ratha, 2010. "Diaspora Bonds: Tapping The Diaspora During Difficult Times," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 251-263.
  60. Barham, Bradford & Boucher, Stephen, 1998. "Migration, remittances, and inequality: estimating the net effects of migration on income distribution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 307-331, April.
  61. Chellaraj, Gnanaraj & Maskus, Keith E. & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2005. "The contribution of skilled immigration and international graduate students to U.S. innovation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3588, The World Bank.
  62. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-30, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5558. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.