Migration Debate

To what extent does the migration of people have a positive effect? (Cambridge 2008) 

If you’re going to be focusing on globalization, looking at migration is definitely a good bet. Here are some excerpts from the OECD’s book on International Migration.

Today, around 2.9% of people on this planet –  or around  190  million  – are migrants, up from around 2.2% in the  1970. Although the number of migrants has generally been rising in absolute terms, this increase has been neither rapid nor consistent – the trend line has tended to move in fits and starts, rather than smoothly. Other than that, generalisations can be of doubtful value when talking about migration. Each migrant and each country experiences migration differently. Even within countries, there can be big variations between regions, and even between towns and villages, in the numbers who leave, and the numbers who arrive. Migration is thus both a global and, at times, very local phenomenon.

In a later part of the introduction..

Governments will also have to deal with the reality that–like no other issue today–migration invites controversy. In part this is because it touches upon so many aspects of modern life –  economics, demographics, politics, national security, social issues, national identity, culture, language and even religion. Opinion surveys show substantial antipathy to migration in many countries. In one poll for the Financial Times newspaper, just under half of Britons (47%) and a quarter of Spaniards (24%) said immigration from the rest of the euro area had been bad for their economy. In the United States, just over half of respondents (52%) believed immigration had done more harm than good for the economy, according to a survey for The Wall Street Journal/NBC News.

Here is a debate on the issue in the fired up continent of Europe by The Economist (includes lots of helpful background articles as well). More hard-hitting are the anchor statements by proposer David Goodhart (who argues that migration is endangering European society)  and opposition Philippe Legrain.

Over in the US, this pro-con list just about sums up their solution woes on illegal immigrants.

Lastly, here’s a piece from Ian Goldin on “Why More Migration Makes Sense”.

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