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Jeffrey Williamson (Laird Bell Professor of Economics, Harvard University), one of the world's leading economic historians and a specialist in pre-1950 globalization, will discuss his most recent research on the historical determinants of international migration and its implications for today's migration policy. Most analysts forecast that international migration will rise in the next decades and that the advanced economies will experience a growing migration pressure from the less developed countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Immigrant policy in receiving countries will then be a crucial instrument in coming years. Most of the current debate, however, is not new to historians, since policy makers and social scientists have been debating about international migration and migration policy for more than a century. A long run perspective is, therefore, essential to inform our understanding of international migration today.
The Political Economy of World Mass Migration: Comparing Two Global Centuries (available May 12, 2004)