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Symposium 2012

Designing Intelligent Labor Migration Policies

The Challenge

While the world economy continues to become more global, international labor mobility remains severely restricted for all but those with rare or high skills. Many people in developing countries would like to emigrate legally to work abroad but they do not qualify for admission to destination countries. This is because policy-makers typically focus on the net national economic impact when considering reforms of their labor migration policies and they naturally respond to public opinion about that impact.

Yet, the economic and social impacts of migration are not singularly national but global. Studies of the national economic impact of migration tend to find that immigration has only small overall effects on the labor-market outcomes of natives and the public finances of destination countries.A global balance sheet of migration would have to add the economic and social impacts on the source countries and on the migrants themselves—and include such considerations as migrants’ income gains, the contributions of remittances to development, "brain waste," effects on social cohesion and the human costs of trafficking and smuggling.

A global balance sheet could guide internationally efficient migration policies.Yet, even globally efficient migration policies must be implemented by nationally elected politicians. So the challenge is to design migration policies that are both globally efficient and politically feasible to implement.

Previous GES sessions have suggested fostering the integration of immigrants and concluding bilateral migration agreements between source and destination countries. Such policies might also be viable tools in the search for globally efficient migration policies.

Could a special tax on migrants, one of the main beneficiaries of migration, help in creating political support for less restrictive and more efficient migration policies? This might be an alternative to a straightforward transfer of income from migrants (those who gain) to low-skilled natives (those who may lose), which is probably not feasible in existing welfare systems.

Could fostering temporary or circular migration help reap the benefits of international labor mobility and, at the same time, alleviate opposition to migration in destination countries? Could integration policies, such as language courses, alleviate (perceived) negative effects of immigration on natives and thus create support for less restrictive migration policies?

Could more public information on the benefits of immigration for migrants themselves (and for source and destination countries) pave the way for less restrictive immigration policies?

How could a constructive debate about migration be initiated, one that balances the needs of both the source and destination countries and the desires of migrants? And how can national debates and migration policies become more sensitive to the negative consequences of barriers to those who are determined to migrate? How could noneconomic barriers to mobility, such as xenophobia and antiimmigrant sentiment, be overcome? And what narrative can be built and what kind of a balance sheet used to conceive a migration policy that has "triple-win" outcomes for source countries, destination countries, and migrants?

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Establish multientry sectoral work permits for labor migrants in destination countries.

    Establish multientry sectoral work permits for labor migrants in destination countries.

    Establish multientry sectoral work permits for labor migrants in destination countries.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Create a pilot project for "global training scholarships," matching employers in destination countries with trainees in source countries.

    Create a pilot project for "global training scholarships," matching employers in destination countries with trainees in source countries.

    Create a pilot project for "global training scholarships," matching employers in destination countries with trainees in source countries.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Create a rigorous skills forecast for key talent hubs around the globe.

    Create a rigorous skills forecast for key talent hubs around the globe.

    Create a rigorous skills forecast for key talent hubs around the globe.

    Polity
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Establish certification of recruiting agencies to weed out lawless and unethical recruiting agencies.

    Establish certification of recruiting agencies to weed out lawless and unethical recruiting agencies.

    Establish certification of recruiting agencies to weed out lawless and unethical recruiting agencies.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Research the conditions that create magnets and amplifiers for talent.

    Research the conditions that create magnets and amplifiers for talent.

    Research the conditions that create magnets and amplifiers for talent.

    Academia

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Designing Intelligent Labor Migration Policies

      The ProblemIn Brazil, there is the need for policies in order to attract and keep qualified professionals in strategical areas as one national development vector. Generation of science, technology ...

      The ProblemIn Brazil, there is the need for policies in order to attract and keep qualified professionals in strategical areas as one national development vector. Generation of science, technology and innovation; Increase of GDP; Social-economic Development; Facilitation of new commercial partnerships, and Increase of the political projection in the international scenario.   ExceptionIt is not about increasing competition for national workers, but: Creating competence or knowledge transfer; Promoting the development of strategical industries; Enlarging the critical and base mass economically active of the Country in the next decades, and Building synergic politics of development and human rights.   The

    Polity
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Designing Intelligent Labor Migration Policies

    Foster the (economic) integration of immigrants through e.g. language courses. This may help migrants to reap the full benefits of their move and alleviate the (perceived) negative effects of immigrat ...

    Foster the (economic) integration of immigrants through e.g. language courses. This may help migrants to reap the full benefits of their move and alleviate the (perceived) negative effects of immigration for natives. Establish a clear pathway to citizenship. This can help in promoting the integration and acceptance of newcomers in society. Align immigration flows more readily to the economic needs of receiving countries. This could be done by a points-based immigration system or by admitting labor migrants whose skills are in short supply. Such policies will maximize the positive effect of immigration on public finances in the destination and may

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    “Permanently temporary” – how do countries design temporary migration programmes that ensure availability of lower skilled workers for sectors or occupations experiencing systemic shortages while protecting workers’ rights?

    One of the criticisms of labour migration programmes is that many of them focus on higher skill occupations or “talent mobility” but largely overlook shortages in lower skilled occupations.  The ...

    One of the criticisms of labour migration programmes is that many of them focus on higher skill occupations or “talent mobility” but largely overlook shortages in lower skilled occupations.  The assumption is that job vacancies requiring lower levels of formal education or on-the-job training can be readily filled by local residents who simply need to be mobilized or encouraged to accept these positions.  However, this is not necessarily the case as there are a multitude of factors that affect every job-seeker’s willingness to accept lower-skilled work, particularly in G20 countries.  In fact, the terminology alone devalues the contributions made by

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    How the Training of Emigrant Professionals Can Be Financed by Destination Countries

    Rich nations facing a shortage of skilled workers should partner with technical schools in neighboring developing countries to foster a mutually beneficial exchange of skills and opportunities, at no ...

    Rich nations facing a shortage of skilled workers should partner with technical schools in neighboring developing countries to foster a mutually beneficial exchange of skills and opportunities, at no cost to the sending country. In the familiar narrative of “brain drain”, rich countries are said to rob the developing world of talent trained with their limited resources. Perhaps the most widely discussed skill flow from poor to rich countries is the migration of health workers, who are in high demand all over the world, in both rich and poor countries alike. Malawi and other migrant-origin countries invest in training nurses,

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Proposal
    Symposium 2012

    Talent Mobility Good Practices - Collaboration at the Core of Driving Economic Growth

    Talent Mobility Good Practices Collaboration at the Core of Driving Economic Growth Joint World Economic Forum / Mercer research Talent is the fuel that drives the engine of the global economy. Talent ...

    Talent Mobility Good Practices Collaboration at the Core of Driving Economic Growth Joint World Economic Forum / Mercer research Talent is the fuel that drives the engine of the global economy. Talent mobility is an enabler for private companies, governments, academic institutions and NGOs to close skills gaps and remedy talent shortages by upskilling, retooling and/or relocating talent to effectively fulfill strategic imperatives and foster growth. When done right, talent mobility practices can effectively boost labor supply, stimulate labor demand, or better equilibrate supply and demand through changes in the cost or quantity of labor – all of which lead

    Polity, Business

    Background Paper

    Background Paper
    Symposium 2012

    The Role of Migration in Development

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society