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Policy Brief

Is international migration a panacea for international development? A policy brief


Arie Kelerstein

About Arie
Originally from Mexico City, Arie Kelerstein grew up in British Columbia, Canada where his experience as an immigrant helped shape his viewpoints of the world. Arie holds an MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has worked for a variety of organizations including community-based NGOs, technology startups, and think tanks. He is currently working for Airbnb and for the Center for Migration Studies of New York.
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In 2020, the number of international migrants was estimated to be ~US$ 272 million (IOM, 2019, p. 1). International migration is one of the defining features of our era and its impact has generated tremendous scrutiny. Observers have noted the presence of distinct migration patterns shaped by economic, geographic, demographic, political, and social factors. These factors produce migration ‘corridors’ that tend to be from developing countries to countries with advanced economies such as the United States and France, or to growing economies in countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (IOM, 2019, p.1). These migration corridors reflect a world of unequal opportunity where people in the Global South leave their countries of origin in search of livelihood opportunities in the Global North. Given these patterns, scholars and policy makers have argued that international migration policies can serve as a catalyst to promote international development. Despite such optimism, policy makers and scholars should not expect migration policies to serve as a panacea for international development. For migration policies to positively impact international development, policy makers and scholars should focus on identifying realistic approaches that build upon pre-existing migration patterns instead of changing them. This brief will focus on examining financial remittances and the social effects of international migration on countries of emigration. These are two of the most prominent aspects of the migration-development debate because of their significant potential for improving short-term and long-term welfare conditions. Several recommendations will be proposed with the aim to strengthen developmental effects of financial and social remittances within migration corridors from the Global South to the Global North.
How to Cite: Kelerstein, A., 2021. Is international migration a panacea for international development? A policy brief. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 9(1).
Published on 08 May 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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