When a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti last year the U.S. government and public moved quickly to aid the survivors. The response was swift and compassionate. But America did not do something simple and low-cost that could have helped the survivors of this horrible event. It did not crack open the door and admit a small number of them to the United States.
CGD Policy Blogs
Especially during the hot summer months, some of us might daydream about packing up and relocating to a small tropical island somewhere in the Pacific. From a development perspective, however, small island states face unique challenges—most obviously from rising sea levels, but also from the economic dynamics created by their small size and isolation.
The planet's population will swell by two to three billion people over the next few decades. Where will all those people live? My guest on this week's Global Prosperity Wonkcast has a bold new idea.
The British Medical Association just released a new statement on the international migration of health workers. Sadly, it repeats a common, self-contradictory, profoundly unethical position on international high-skill migration.
Eldis, the online aggregator of development policy, practice and research at the Institute of Development Studies in Sussex, is conducting a survey to identify "the most significant new piece of development research of 2008." This strikes me as having roughly the same statistical validity as American Idol does for when it comes to finding new singing talent. Still, as with Idol and other talent shows, the entertainment value of a popularity contest is hard to dispute!
Doing research on migration and development is tough. Some of the most basic questions can't even get off the whiteboard because data on migration are so limited. If the government of Kenya wants to know how many doctors went last year from Nairobi to London, or vice versa, no one can tell. If a hard-working economist wants to know how many Pakistanis have temporary labor contracts in the Gulf countries, good luck.
Migration is shaping global development, but much of it is inscrutable. Even legal movements occur in the shadows.
Do You Have Your Job because of Your Merit or Your DNA? For Many Migrants from Poor Countries, DNA Makes the Difference
If you're not a black person, suppose you were. Suppose you were also born in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, which was already in poverty before it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So you sought to better your life by getting a job in Chicago. But then US government officials forced you not to take the job, because DNA tests proved that you are not closely related to any white person.
Most economists who saw it no doubt reacted with skepticism to the recent assertion (by an organization pushing for stricter enforcement of migration restrictions) that undocumented workers are leaving the United States in record numbers because of increased Citizenship and Immigration Services enforcement. A far more likely cause is the housing market debacle and the resulting decline of jobs in construction and other housing-related sectors, where immigrant jobs are concentrated.
If Congress Admits More Foreign Nurses, Will It Be Responsible for Killing Children in Poor Countries? Think Again.
A subcommittee of the U.S. Congress has just approved a bill that would let modestly more foreign nurses work in the United States. New York Times reporters are concerned that measures like this, by encouraging movement of nurses out of developing countries that need them, could literally kill children.