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Estudios sociales (Hermosillo, Son.)

Print version ISSN 0188-4557


NIGEL, Harris. Europe: Migration and Development. Estud. soc [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.27, pp.07-24. ISSN 0188-4557.

Government attitudes to migration -internal and external- have changed radically in recent years. Formerly seen as evidence of chronic social and economic breakdown and major threats to government power (in accelerated urbanisation), internal migration is now seen as major mechanism for the redistribution of resources from richer to poorer localities and a vital means of raising the incomes of the poor. The same revision of view is affecting international migration. Here remittance flows from workers working abroad to their families at home have become major components in the foreign exchange earnings of a number of countries. After some reluctance, governments have come to embrace emigration for work, to facilitate and reinforce its effects on the alleviation of poverty. However, there are problems in the loss of the most enterprising and best-trained workers of developing countries. Can the interests at stake -developing countries, migrants, developed countries- be reconciled? Temporary circulatory migration for the purposes of training would seem to be the best outcome, so that migration becomes a means to enhance the human capital of developing countries for the task of reducing world poverty. There are, however, many options for developed countries without immigration - from the reform of their domestic labour markets to off-shoring. The real choice is about what sort of world we want.

Keywords : migration; development; remittances; aid; poverty.

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