26 May 2010

New evidence on the importance of migration for development

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have just released the data from a survey of over 10,000 migrant households in Bangladesh. Michael Clemens does a quick calculation of the rate of return on investment for these migrants – 117% per year for an upfront investment of $3150. “That’s a stunningly profitable investment,” given that the returns to microfinance in Bangladesh might be 11% at best.

Meanwhile the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Global Development Network (GDN) have released a new study based on 10,000 households across six countries: Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Macedonia and Vietnam. Their findings on the economic impacts of migration are that:

  • migration increases migrants earnings
  • it also increases the incomes of the households they come from
  • receiving remittances increases business ownership
  • receiving remittances does not impact labour market participation or unemployment
  • receiving remittances increases savings

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