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  • Author: Andrs Solimano
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The generation of new ideas and their application for productive uses is an important engine for growth and development. This is an area in which developing countries usually lag behind developed countries and is where development gaps are more evident. Behind the generation of ideas, innovations, and new technologies there is 'human talent': an inner capacity of individuals to develop ideas and objects, some of them with a high economic value. The 'human factor' is critical to the success or failure of many endeavours. Several countries, particularly China and India, followed by Russia, Poland, and some Latin American countries, are becoming an important source of talented people with PhDs and degrees in science, engineering, and other areas that can lead to change in the international patterns of comparative advantages and reduce development gaps. Part of the new talent formed in developing countries goes to live and work to developed countries, typically the USA, UK, and other OECD nations. At the same time multinational corporations are outsourcing several of their productive and service activities, including research and development, to developing countries (China and India are main destinations) to take advantage of the (less expensive) talent being developed there. Today, therefore, we see a double movement of talent and capital around the globe: on the one hand talent from developing countries is moving north seeking better opportunities where people are equipped with more capital, technologies, and effective organizations. On the hand capital from the north pursues talent in the south; a process largely led by multinational corporations.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, India
  • Author: George J. Borjas
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The most important economic feature of immigration to the United States in the post-1965 period has been a significant deterioration in the economic performance of successive immigrant waves. The policy reaction to this trend would obviously differ if the entry wage disadvantage disappeared quickly, as the immigrants assimilated in the American economy and acquired skills and information valuable in the American labour market. This paper examines the determinants of economic assimilation, and discusses how the experience of earlier immigrant waves can provide valuable information about the assimilation process the new immigrants will likely experience.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Elizabeth Thomas-Hope
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Irregular migration is increasing in the Caribbean while the opportunities for applying for asylum hardly exist. The policy regarding most Caribbean irregular migrants is based on the view of the potential destinations, namely that the migrants are economic rather than political refugees. Whatever the specific cause of a migrant's departure, the movement is rooted in a complex amalgam of political, socioeconomic and (increasingly) environmental, factors. Thus irregular movements are part of the wider Caribbean migration process. The irregular movements differ from other forms of migration in that they represent the informal sector of migration, providing an alternative to those sectors of national populations that for political or economic reasons fall outside the immigration categories for entry to the United States. Locations in the Caribbean largely provide the intended transit stops to the United States, but with the implementation of policies to interdict migrants at sea, many of these intermediary locations become final destinations and, ultimately, marginalized communities of the migrants themselves and successive generations. These centres are the nodal points of an established transnational network that sustains the ongoing process of irregular migration. The economic and emotional cost and risks faced by the migrants are high, and the economic and political cost and challenges faced by host governments are also high. Irregular migration and the issue of asylum poignantly reflect various aspects of poverty and the vast economic disparities that exist within the region. Further, irregular migration and the question of asylum greatly affect diplomatic relations between Caribbean countries of migration source and destination. Better and more thoughtful policies are needed to address the continuing issues relating to irregular migration.
  • Topic: Development, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Caribbean
  • Author: Philip Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explains the evolution and effects of Mexico-US migration, and highlights the NAFTA approach to economic integration, viz., free up trade and investment while stepping up efforts to prevent unauthorized migration. The European Union approach is different: provide aid first, and later free up trade and migration in the expectation that moves toward convergence will ensure minimal migration because trade has become a substitute for migration. The paper concludes that NAFTA will reduce unwanted Mexico-US migration in the medium to long term, and that different initial conditions in Europe mean that there will be relatively little east-west migration when nationals of new entrant EU members achieve freedom of movement.
  • Topic: Economics, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Mexico
  • Author: Stephen Castles, Sean Loughna
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to outline trends and patterns in movements of asylumseekers to Western so-called industrialized countries from 1990-2001. The paper begins by characterizing three distinct phases of asylum migration since the end of the Second World War. It then provides background material on global refugee and asylum movements, using statistics from UNHCR. The data for selected receiving countries and regions is discussed, followed by some remarks on changing routes used by asylumseekers. The selected countries and regions are Australia, Canada, the EU and the USA. Finally, we examine some of the causal factors behind asylum migration and attempt to identify their significance upon flows migration.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Human Welfare, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Australia