Sunday December 18 marked International Migrants Day. According to the UN the total number of international migrants increased from an estimated 175 million in 2000 to 244 million persons in 2015. Nearly two-thirds of all international migrants live in Europe or Asia; however migration is now more widely distributed across more countries. Today the top destination countries receive a smaller share of all migrants than in 2000.
The lure of a well-paid job is a powerful driver of international migration. John Kennan, in his article "Freedom of movement for workers," argues that allowing workers to move freely across countries could yield large gains, comparable to a doubling of labor income in developing countries. He says, “Although the immigrant flows would be large, the wage effects would be small since increases in labor supply would induce investment.”
Escaping conflicts is another driver of migration. Providing a safe haven for refugees can be seen as a public good and this provides the rationale for policy coordination between governments. However the volume of applications differs widely across countries and policy harmonization is not sufficient, argues Tim Hatton. He says that “burden-sharing measures are needed as well, in order to achieve an optimal distribution of refugees across member states.”
Call for applications: 20th IZA Summer School in Labor Economics, May 15-20. The objective of the Summer School is to bring together a large number of PhD students and senior lecturers to study new areas in labor economics. Students have the opportunity to present their work and discuss ideas with established researchers in a relaxed and open atmosphere. Submission deadline is January 15, 2017.
Call for papers: 14th Annual Migration Meeting (AM²), May 26-27. Going into its 14th edition this year, the IZA Annual Migration Meeting aims at bringing together new and established migration researchers to discuss their most recent work in a constructive atmosphere. Deadline for submission is January 31, 2017.