Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets
October 19, 2017Washington, DC

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.

  • Caglar Ozden, Lead Economist, World Bank

    A Turkish national and a professional migrant, Caglar received his undergraduate degrees in economics and industrial engineering from Cornell University and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. He is a fellow of IZA, CreAM and ERF.
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research Department, World Bank

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
  • Cyril Muller, Vice President, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank

    Cyril Muller joined the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region as Vice President on 1 July 2015. Previously, from 2011 to 2015, he was Vice President for External and Corporate Relations. Prior to that, he was the Director for Banking and Debt Management in the World Bank Treasury, responsible for modernizing the financial products available to member countries and providing public debt management advisory services.

The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The monthly event facilitates a dialogue between researchers and operational staff so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices. Read More »

Event Details
  • Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM, October 19, 2017
  • Location: MC 13-121, World Bank Main Complex
  • CONTACT: Tourya Tourougui