Crossing the Border – Measuring the Impact of International Migration on Human Development

Juran, Sabrina (2016). 'Crossing the Border - Measuring the Impact of International Migration on Human Development' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract International migration has been recognized as a developmental driver for countries of origin and destination. However, despite increasing research, the direction and scale of its impact has not yet been fully understood.   While “Migration can have positive development impacts if supported by the right policies […] and integrated into national development strategies and plans.”[1], the effects on development are often oversimplified, depicting a too positive view. In light of the presumed challenges and disruptions faced by local economies, national populations, individual migrants and the ones left behind this win-win-win of migration is certainly faced with considerable challenges.  This research posits that in order to understand the complex relationship between migration and development, a broader concept of development, including the notion of freedoms, needs to be applied. Migratory movements between Mexico and the Unites States represent the single largest migration corridor in the world. With an emigrant population of more than eleven million Mexicans in the U.S. alone, representing 10 % of the total national Mexican population, Mexico is one of the largest sending countries of migrants. For Mexico, migration signifies a normative pattern, a model for citizens to improve living conditions for themselves and their families. Inherent to the idea of a good life or better wellbeing is the ​​concept of migration to the United States, with a potential return after some years of residence in the neighboring country. Recognizing every individual migrant’s agency and ability to live in and with substantial freedoms as an integral part to foster development provides a new perspective to migration and the development nexus. Addressing a topic of high political interest in depth analysis of the components and effects of Mexican-U.S. migration provides valuable legislative and socio-economic information and may serve as paradigmatic example for other migratory corridors in the world.   [1] United Nations General Assembly. 2013

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