E.g., 07/19/2017
E.g., 07/19/2017

Rethinking Emigration: A Lost Generation or a New Era of Mobility?

Rethinking Emigration: A Lost Generation or a New Era of Mobility?

June 2014 Meeting

The twelfth plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration examined the scale and implications of recent mobility patterns and asked what concrete actions governments and societies from both origin and destination countries can take to mitigate the costs of emigration and thus capture more of its potential benefits. The reports prepared for the Council explore how high-income societies can learn from “traditional” emigration countries to tap into the human capital and accumulated experience of their overseas nationals in new and innovative ways—by treating them as an extension of their national talent and expertise pool. The reports in this series also emphasize that engaging actively, and over time organically, with emigrants and diasporas must go hand in hand with structural, social, economic, and political reforms that will attract both returnees and new migrants alike—while creating a viable alternative to departure. Read the Council Statement that distills the Council's findings and recommendations for turning the challenges of emigration into opportunities.


Individual reports prepared for the meeting and published by the Council are available here:

The Southeast Asia-Australia Regional Migration System: Some Insights into the “New Emigration”
This report dispels the perception that flows between Australia and the ASEAN region are headed in one direction: to Australia. Using unpublished administrative data, the authors sketch a complex picture of skilled Australian emigration to ASEAN, significant temporary movements of skilled workers in both directions, and close connections between the two regions even after migrants permanently return to their country of origin.

The Re-Emergence of Emigration from Ireland: New Trends in An Old Story
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, Ireland has again experienced emigration flows on a much greater scale than most of its Western European counterparts. Unlike earlier outflows, however, a significant share of those leaving today are immigrants returning home or migrating elsewhere. The report—which uses data and interviews from the EMIGRE project to disaggregate outflows of Irish nationals from those of immigrants and to shed light on who is emigrating, where they are going, and what is motivating their departure—also examines Ireland's diaspora engagement and return policies.

The Changing Face of Emigration: Harnessing the Potential of the New Greek Diaspora
Large outflows of educated young people escaping high levels of unemployment, in tandem with inflows of unauthorized migrants, pose a fresh set of challenges for Greek policymakers. This report examines Greek emigration, and its economic implications, before exploring policy directions to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this mobility.

Reaching a “Fair Deal” on Talent: Emigration, Circulation, and Human Capital in Countries of Origin
While skilled migration brings widely acknowledged economic benefits for destination countries and migrants, its impact on countries of origin has been the subject of more debate. Despite a growing consensus that origin countries can benefit from emigration and the circulation of skills, enabling this potential to be fully exploited remains a challenge. This report examines initiatives that develop skills and human capital.

Emigration Trends and Policies in China: Movement of the Wealthy and Highly Skilled
This report analyzes the evolution of Chinese emigration from the 1970s, when market-oriented reforms began reducing barriers to movement beyond the country's borders, to the present day. High-skilled and high-value emigration is rising fast. Despite liberalized exit controls, low-skilled labor migration is stagnant as a result of complicated and expensive recruitment procedures.

The Germany-Turkey Migration Corridor: Refitting Policies for a Transnational Age
This Transatlantic Council on MIgration report describes how the migration of nationals between Germany and Turkey has developed over recent decades; examines the economic, social, and political factors behind this development; and discusses the policy implications and lessons that can be drawn.

Spain: New Emigration Policies Needed for an Emerging Diaspora
This report discusses Spain’s changing migration patterns in the wake of dramatic economic downturn, paying special attention to the effects of the emigration of young, native-born Spaniards. The report also focuses on policies geared toward engaging the increasing number of Spaniards abroad, finding that much of Spain's policy towards diasporas predates the 1980s.

Transatlantic Council Statement: Rethinking Emigration: Turning Challenges into Opportunities
While European countries struggle to manage the recent influx of refugees, many are separately facing a less visible trend: large numbers of talented residents leaving. This Council Statement examines the new reality of emigration from middle- and high-income countries and identifies how governments can mitigate the costs of emigration and "brain drain."