International migration: Trends, policies and economic impact

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Publication Date 2001
ISBN 0-415-23782-3
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Book abstract:

Immigration and emigration may be the dual carriageway along which the transport of skills and appetites travel in search of a brighter economic future. The mobility of labour may be the corollary of the globalisation of capital. If this is the case then perhaps the time has arrived to review policies and programmes aimed to control the flow. But first an understanding of the opportunities, challenges and risks for both the countries of immigration and emigration will be necessary.

This work provides an analysis of these and other important current issues and focuses on recent trends and policies and their economic impact. It draws upon the research and findings of leading specialists in international migration from around the world. The first two chapters review the recent experiences of three economies - Australia, New Zealand and Canada -which continue to encourage immigrants and provides an evaluation of the selection criteria employed. Chapter 3 explores the determinants in shaping national attitudes towards immigration and the consequent restrictive or liberal immigration policies. The scope of the welfare state in the field of immigration vis-à-vis that of a laissez-faire economy is examined in Chapter 4. The various links between trade liberalisation policies and migration flows is studied in Chapter 5 within the context of NAFTA experience and the expansion of trade between Mexico and the United States. The projection of current knowledge and understanding to forecast future flows is dealt with in Chapter 6. The economic impact of illegal immigration is discussed in Chapter 7 together with a analysis of recent trends and the efficacy of policies introduced to control illegal entry, residence and employment of undocumented foreign workers. How those 'illegals' become legalised is considered in Chapter 8 using evidence drawn from a survey of illegal Bulgarian immigrants reacting to a recent legalisation drive in Greece. In Chapter 9 a recently released national sample of illegal immigrants in the United States is used to explore further the cost:contribution equation and offers some surprising findings. The Jewish experience is closely studied in Chapter 10 and highlights the significance of language skills among adult male Jewish immigrants to Israel in relation to earning power. The prospects for return to the country of origin are examined in Chapter 11 and the importance of international buying power of savings and the role of capital accumulation in the host country is explored. The remittances of those earnings and savings from the host country represent a significant portion of foreign exchange earnings for the countries of origin and this and other similar factors are examined in the final chapter.

The volume will be a useful resource for academics, advanced undergraduate students, professional economists and policy makers in the field of international migration.

Slobodan Djajic is Professor of Economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.

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