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Beyond the Fence: Research Lessons on How Immigration and Remittances Shape Global Development

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 8:30am to 6:00pm

As the Obama Administration begins to consider the key issues of U.S. immigration reform this summer, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Center for International Development at Harvard University convened a research conference, "Beyond the Fence: Research Lessons on How Immigration and Remittances Shape Global Development," on May 26, 2009 with thought leaders from Harvard University, CGD, the University of Chicago, and the World Bank, among others, to offer groundbreaking insights into the links between migration, remittances and prosperity. They were joined by leading voices from the policy community who offered new perspectives on the politics and possibilities of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

Read the full conference statement.

Highlight video from the event


Conference Agenda 
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM Welcome 
LAWRENCE MACDONALD, Vice President for Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development 
RICARDO HAUSMANN, Director, Center for International Development at Harvard University 

9:15 AM – 9:45 AM Leveraging Remittances and Migration for Development 
DILIP RATHA, World Bank Development Prospects Group 
Paper (pdf, 173K)

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM Immigration is a Development Tool 
LANT PRITCHETT, Harvard University 
Paper (pdf, 531K)

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM Pursuing Prosperity: Effects of Migration on Migrants and Families in Developing Economies 
Moderator: MICHAEL KREMER, Harvard University
Financial innovations and savings from remittances 
DEAN YANG, University of Michigan 
Effects of greater migrant control over remittances 
Paper (pdf, 203K)
LANT PRITCHETT, Harvard University 
The wage gains from immigrating to the United States 
Paper (pdf, 558K)
DAVID MCKENZIE, World Bank Development Research Group 
Development effects of guest worker programs 
Paper (pdf, 285K)

Q&A Transcript

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM Lunch Speakers: Immigration Reform and the Obama Administration 
ALI NOORANI, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum 
ROBERT HILDRETH, CEO, International Bank Services and Founder and Executive Director, Foundation for An Open America 

Q&A Transcript

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM The Big Picture: Macroeconomic Effects of Migration and Remittances in Developing Economies 
Moderator: LANT PRITCHETT, Harvard University 
JEFF FRANKEL, Harvard University 
Remittances and currency integration in Southern Africa 
Paper (pdf, 305K)
ANTONIO SPILIMBERGO, International Monetary Fund Research Department 
How foreign students in the U.S. spread democracy abroad 
Paper (pdf, 301K)
MICHAEL CLEMENS, Center for Global Development 
Effects of high-skill emigration on education investment at home 
Paper (pdf, 566K)
DEVESH KAPUR, Director, Centre for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania and Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development 
How high-skill emigration shapes technology transfer and political change 
Paper (pdf, 217K)

Q&A Transcript

3:45 PM – 5:45 PM Win-Win Reform: Maximizing the Benefits of Immigration Policy on Both Sides of the Border 
Moderator: LAWRENCE MACDONALD, Center for Global Development
PATRICIA CORTES, University of Chicago 
Effects of immigration on U.S. prices and labor markets 
Paper (pdf, 170K)
MICHAEL KREMER, Harvard University 
Broader effects of immigration on labor markets and labor force participation 
Paper (pdf, 593K)
KATHLEEN NEWLAND, Director, Migration Policy Institute 
The role of international development in immigration policy
Paper (pdf, 273K)
Temporary worker programs and long-term immigration solutions 
Paper (11K)

Q&A Transcript

5:45 PM Closing Remarks 
RICARDO HAUSMANN, Director, Center for International Development at Harvard University

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