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Kate Gough was a research associate supporting the work of Michael Clemens and Cindy Huang on migration and forced displacement. Prior to joining CGD in May 2017, she worked with the International Organization for Migration’s Office to the United Nations, and later in defense policy research. While earning her bachelor's in political science at Southern Methodist University, Gough conducted field research and reporting on migration across the US border from Central America and Mexico, and conducted field research on the impact of Syrian refugee migration on Jordanian political security.
An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely. As communities become less poor, more people gain the abilities and wherewithal to undertake an expensive journey to a better life elsewhere. Development often increases migration—at least initially.