This Policy Research Report documents how permeable country borders have become in many different domains, and the troubling human and economic costs as the geographical spillovers of conflict and crime and political instability have intensified. The report suggests international institutions can play a critical role in stabilizing domestic fragility by moving settlement of disputes away from battlefields and toward global platforms.
In 2015 and 2016, migrant flows into the EU surged, with Greece and Italy the main entry points. Many of the migrants applied for international protection in Europe, becoming asylum seekers. This spike in EU asylum seekers, as well as the increasing numbers of those granted refugee status, brought a need for information on who they are—their sociodemographic characteristics; their education and work experience; their experience on the journey to Italy and Greece; and what it cost them not only financially but also physically and emotionally to get there.
Research output on a given country increases with the country’s population and wealth, yielding a strong correlation between per-capita research output and per capita GDP: a 10 percent increase in a country’s per-capita GDP translates into a 3.2 percent increase in the number of published economic research papers. These results raise questions about incentives to researchers in terms of their focus in publishing in academic journals, and highlight the role of development institutions such as the World Bank in ensuring that the poorest countries are not left out of the knowledge generating process.
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