A new GLO Discussion Paper suggests that structural shortages of labor in developed countries and effectively unlimited supply of labor in the least developed countries generate unavoidable and indispensable international migrations of increasing size.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 375, 2019
Migration. Comparing political and cultural visions – Download PDF
by Bruni, Michele & Catani, Mario
GLO Fellow Michele Bruni
Author Abstract: Different interpretations of migration confront themselves in the political arena. Considering two factors, necessity and acceptability, the paper identifies four stereotyped visions: the society of the walls, the society of mercy, the society of ghettos, and the society of reason. The first three share the ideological assumption that migration flows are supply determined, that they are pushed by poverty, lack of jobs, and desperation due to the lack of perspectives of a better future. The fourth vision states, based on robust empirical evidence, that migration is determined by a structural shortage of labor that, characterizes an increasing number of developed countries, in the presence of an unlimited supply of labor in the least developed countries. The implication of this idea is that international migrations flows of increasing size are unavoidable and indispensable to both groups of countries. They should reach a political agreement to jointly manage them with mutual advantage. An Annex summarizes previous work of one of the authors updated with recent data and estimates released by UN DESA. It provides a short, critical introduction to the concept of the demographic transition and presents the statistical implications of its most relevant consequence: the demographic polarization of the planet.
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