IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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. 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).
  2. Frederic Docquier & Hillel Rapoport & I-Ling Shen, 2006. "Remittances and inequality: A dynamic migration model," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0614, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  3. Michael Clemens, 2010. "A Labor Mobility Agenda for Development," Working Papers 201, Center for Global Development.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Simonetta Longhi & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2004. "A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Effect of Immigration on Wages," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-47, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
  7. Sanket Mohapatra & George Joseph & Dilip Ratha, 2012. "Remittances and natural disasters: ex-post response and contribution to ex-ante preparedness," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 365-387, June.
  8. Giovanni Peri & Chad Sparber, 2009. "Task Specialization, Immigration and Wages," Working Papers 91, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Clemens, Michael A., 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," MPRA Paper 19186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Anderson, Kym & Winters, L. Alan, 2008. "The Challenge of Reducing International Trade and Migration Barriers," CEPR Discussion Papers 6760, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Rolando Avendaño & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto Parra, 2009. "Are Workers' Remittances Relevant for Credit Rating Agencies?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 282, OECD Publishing.
  17. Gianmarco León & Valerie Koechlin, 2006. "International Remittances and Income Inequality: An Empirical Investigation," Research Department Publications 4475, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  18. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
  19. Maëlan Le Goff & Markus Haacker & Kyung-Woo Lee & Raju Jan Singh, 2011. "Determinants and Macroeconomic Impact of Remittances in Sub-Saharan Africa," Post-Print halshs-00569044, HAL.
  20. Francesc Ortega & Giovanni Peri, 2009. "The Causes and Effects of International Labor Mobility: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980-2005," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-06, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Apr 2009.
  21. Giuliano, Paola & Ruiz-Arranz, Marta, 2009. "Remittances, financial development, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 144-152, September.
  22. Michael Clemens & Lant Pritchett, 2008. "Income per natural: Measuring development as if people mattered more than places," Working Papers 143, Center for Global Development.
  23. Jihad Dagher & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel & Yasser Abdih, 2008. "Remittances and Institutions: Are Remittances a Curse?," IMF Working Papers 08/29, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Docquier, Frédéric & Marchiori, Luca & Shen, I-Ling, 2010. "Brain drain in globalization: A general equilibrium analysis from the sending countries’ perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 7682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Dalia Hakura & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel, 2009. "Remittances: An Automatic Output Stabilizer?," IMF Working Papers 09/91, International Monetary Fund.
  26. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Maurice Schiff, 2008. "International Migration, Transfers of Norms and Home Country Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2512, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Migration,sex bias, and child growth in rural Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3946, The World Bank.
  30. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2011. "Can migration reduce educational attainment? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 1331-1358, October.
  31. 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.
  32. Valero-Gil, Jorge, 2008. "Remittances and the household’s expenditures on health," MPRA Paper 9572, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  33. 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.
  34. Lucas, Robert E B, 1987. "Emigration to South Africa's Mines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 313-30, June.
  35. Michael T. Gapen & Ralph Chami & Peter Montiel & Adolfo Barajas & Connel Fullenkamp, 2009. "Do Workers’ Remittances Promote Economic Growth?," IMF Working Papers 09/153, International Monetary Fund.
  36. 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.
  37. Robert E. Baldwin & L. Alan Winters, 2004. "Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald04-1, December.
  38. Dilip Ratha, 2006. "Leveraging remittances for development," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 173-185.
  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. Christian Dustmann & Itzhak Fadlon & Yoram Weiss, 2010. "Return Migration, Human Capital Accumulation and the Brain Drain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1013, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  41. Hildebrandt, Nicole & McKenzie, David, 2005. "The effects of migration on child health in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3573, The World Bank.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. Ratha, Dilip & De, Prabal & Mohapatra, Sanket, 2007. "Shadow sovereign ratings for unrated developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4269, The World Bank.
  45. Stark, Oded, 2003. "Rethinking The Brain Drain," Discussion Papers 18770, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  46. 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.
  47. Marcel Fafchamps, 2004. "Market Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theory and Evidence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062364, June.
  48. Oded Stark & J. Taylor, 1989. "Relative deprivation and international migration oded stark," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-14, February.
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. 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.
  53. Ralph Chami & Yasser Abdih & Amine Mati & Michael T. Gapen, 2009. "Fiscal Sustainability in Remittance-Dependent Economies," IMF Working Papers 09/190, International Monetary Fund.
  54. Michael Clemens, 2007. "Do Visas Kill? Health Effects of African Health Professional Emigration," Working Papers 114, Center for Global Development.
  55. 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.
  56. Ghosh, Jayati, 2009. "Migration and gender empowerment: Recent trends and emerging issues," MPRA Paper 19181, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  57. 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.
  58. Taylor, J. Edward & Mora, Jorge & Adams, Richard H., Jr., 2005. "Remittances, Inequality and Poverty: Evidence from Rural Mexico," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19245, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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.
  62. 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.
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.