The Global Economic Crises and Migration – Where Do We Go From Here?

Author: Bimal Ghosh
Partner: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Publication date: 2010


The corrosive effects of the Great Recession – the worst since the 1930s – on labour markets and workforces are now widely known. These, in turn, are driving changes in migration policies and patterns – changes that can significantly influence social peace, inter-state relations, and the pace of global economic recovery. Yet these migration issues have thus far received little attention, with recession-related policy debates and public discussions mostly focused on financial rules and reform.

Into this void comes Bimal Ghosh’s new book, jointly sponsored by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration, which bridges the policy gap and offers a fresh outlook on the future of migration. In exploring the recession’s impact on migration policies and patterns, Professor Ghosh examines the decline in economic growth – including international trade, capital flows, development aid, and remittances – and analyses its links to joblessness and incomes, poverty and inequality, and changes in the labour force.

The discussion draws on experiences of past recessions showing that job-market recovery takes longer than economic recovery. He then examines how these trends – and government reactions to them in both rich and poor countries – have been influencing migration overall.

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