The combination of tradable quotas and matching
would benefit host countries as well as refugees
Ever since the major inflow of refugees (the
“refugee crisis”) in 2015 and 2016, there has been heated debate about the
appropriate distribution of refugees in the EU. Current policies revolve
around mandatory quotas, which disregard the preferences of EU members and
refugees alike. This problem can be addressed with two market mechanisms.
First, tradable quotas minimize the cost of asylum provision for host
countries. Second, a matching system gives refugees more discretion over
where they are sheltered. While this proposal is theoretically appealing, it
has yet to be tested in practice.
The relationship between migration and natural
events is not straightforward and presents many complexities
The relationship between climatic shocks,
natural disasters, and migration has received increasing attention in recent
years and is quite controversial. One view suggests that climate change and
its associated natural disasters increase migration. An alternative view
suggests that climate change may only have marginal effects on migration.
Knowing whether climate change and natural disasters lead to more migration
is crucial to better understand the different channels of transmission
between climatic shocks and migration and to formulate evidence-based policy
recommendations for the efficient management of the consequences of
Push and pull factors drive the decision to stay
There are a myriad of economic and non-economic
forces behind the decision to migrate. Migrants can be “pushed” out of their
home countries due to deteriorating economic conditions or political unrest.
Conversely, migrants are often “pulled” into destinations that offer high
wages, good health care, and strong educational systems. In making their
decision, individuals compare the net benefits of migration to the costs. By
better understanding what forces affect specific migrant flows (e.g.
demographic characteristics, migrant networks, and economic conditions),
policymakers can set policy to target (or reduce) certain types of
Enforcement deters immigration but with
Border enforcement of immigration laws raises the
costs of illegal immigration, while interior enforcement also lowers its
benefits. Used together, border and interior enforcement therefore reduce
the net benefits of illegal immigration and should lower the probability
that an individual will decide to illegally migrate. While empirical studies
find that border and interior enforcement serve as deterrents to illegal
immigration, immigration enforcement is costly and carries unintended
consequences, such as a decrease in circular migration, an increase in
smuggling, and higher prevalence of off-the-books employment and use of
fraudulent and falsified documents.
South Korea’s engagement with its diaspora can
support the country’s development
Since the 1990s, South Korea’s population has
been aging and its fertility rate has fallen. At the same time, the number
of Koreans living abroad has risen considerably. These trends threaten to
diminish South Korea’s international and economic stature. To mitigate the
negative effects of these new challenges, South Korea has begun to engage
the seven million Koreans living abroad, transforming the diaspora into a
positive force for long-term development.
The European migration crisis of 2015–2016
exposed weaknesses in the asylum system that have been only partly
The migration crisis of 2015–2016 threw the
European asylum system into disarray. The arrival of more than two million
unauthorized migrants stretched the system to its breaking point and created
a public opinion backlash. The existing system is one in which migrants risk
life and limb to gain (often unauthorized) entry to the EU in order to lodge
claims for asylum, more than half of which are rejected. Reforms introduced
during the crisis only partially address the system's glaring weaknesses. In
particular, they shift the balance only slightly away from a regime of
spontaneous asylum-seeking to one of refugee resettlement.
Shifting the focus from immigrants’ initial
earnings to their propensity to invest in human capital
Immigrants who start with low earnings, such as
family-based immigrants, experience higher earnings growth than immigrants
who are recruited for specific jobs (employment-based immigrants). This
occurs because family-based immigrants with lower initial earnings invest in
human capital at higher rates than natives or employment-based immigrants.
Therefore, immigrants who start at low initial earnings invest in new human
capital that allows them to respond to the ever-changing needs of the host
Immigration may boost foreign direct
investment, productivity, and housing investment
Migration policies need to consider how
immigration affects investment behavior and productivity, and how these
effects vary with the type of migration. College-educated immigrants may do
more to stimulate foreign direct investment and research and development
than low-skilled immigrants, and productivity effects would be expected to
be highest for immigrants in scientific and engineering fields. By raising
the demand for housing, immigration also spurs residential investment.
However, residential investment is unlikely to expand enough to prevent
housing costs from rising, which has important distributional