Revisiting the ‘Migration Hump’: New Research on the Effects of Foreign Aid and Development on Emigration from Low-Income Countries – Postponed, date tbc

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At least since the large movements of refugees and other migrants to the EU in 2015, one of the key questions for policy makers is “will economic development in poor countries cause less migration, or more? (Clemens 2014)”. An apparently well-established stylized fact suggests that the relationship between economic development and emigration follows an inverted U shape pattern – i.e. emigration first increases and then decreases as a country experiences economic development. With approximately two thirds of the world population living in countries with GDP per capita levels below $6000, this implies that any increase in global economic development will result in higher volumes of international migration from the poorest regions of the world. In other words – according to this ‘hump’ interpretation – any effort to foster development in deprived areas through development assistance by donor countries would eventually translate into more emigration, by enabling a larger share of the population in the countries of origin to finance the costs of migration. This narrative is implicitly at odds with the view of many policymakers who advocate larger development opportunities in low-income countries as an effective solution to address the so-called root causes of irregular
This MEDAM workshop brings together international scholars who have contributed to the growing academic debate about the existence and characteristics of the ‘migration hump’, with a view to comparing and assessing the latest research findings. While the workshop will be focused on the latest academic research and debates, it will also discuss the implications for policy debates in Europe and beyond.
See the full programme