For most people, and especially the poor, labor is their key asset. The main paths to poverty eradication and economic growth occur through labor mobility so that people can find better employment opportunities. This is why all successful development experiences involve significant reallocation of labor between sectors, occupations, or geographic locations. Yet, mobility of people is restricted by many barriers, from national boundaries to distance and linguistic barriers. Only 3.5 percent of the world’s population lives in a country in which they were not born.
Despite these low numbers, there is a perception of crisis, and migration occupies a prominent place on the agenda of policymakers, academics, and multilateral development institutions like the World Bank. The plight of migrants and refugees periodically dominates newspaper headlines and political campaigns. For many people in origin countries, migration is their only hope and chance at a better life. In destination countries, on the other hand, concerns over the impact of the migrants and refugees on the labor markets, welfare programs, crime, schools, and countries’ cultural identities are at the forefront of public debates.
In this talk, Caglar will highlight the main messages of the forthcoming Policy Research Report (PRR) on Global Migration and Labor Markets. The main objective of the PRR is to contribute to our knowledge on the main patterns and economic impacts of labor mobility across the world. It presents the key facts and results on economic migration and refugees and their impact on labor markets in both origin and destination countries. The report seeks to inform and stimulate debate, support further research and policy interventions, and identify the knowledge and data gaps in this area.