CGD in the News

Let Them Come

September 18, 2006

Sanjay Suri of IPS reviewed CGD's latest book, Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on International Labour Mobility, on labor mobility and the potential positive effects in both developing and developed countries.

From the article:

The book 'Let Their People Come: Breaking the Gridlock on International Labour Mobility' carried out by Lant Pritchett for the Centre for Global Development in Washington says that if rich countries permit a three percent increase of their labour force by easing restrictions on labour mobility, the benefits to citizens of poor countries would be 305 billion dollars a year. That would be twice the combined annual benefits of trade liberalisation (86 billion dollars), foreign aid (70 billion dollars) and debt relief (about 3 billion dollars in annual debt service savings), the report says.

The fundamental obstacle is of course the fears in rich nations over a wave of migrant labour.

"It is not a catastrophic move we are talking about here," Pritchett told IPS. "We are not throwing open the labour market, we are talking about limited, occupation specific work." And within such arrangements, labour from developing countries "make more money, people in rich countries get the services they want."