E.g., 09/23/2014
E.g., 09/23/2014

Migration and the Global Recession

In this extensive 130 page report commissioned by the BBC World Service, the Migration Policy Institute seeks to explore the myriad impacts of the global financial crisis that began in September 2008 on migration flows, immigration policies, remittances, and on migrants themselves. The report first takes a look at the recession’s effect on differing migrant streams — unauthorized, temporary, permanent, and humanitarian — and offers inflow and return migration data trends for major migration corridors around the globe: United States and Mexico, United Kingdom/Ireland and the Accession 8 countries, Spain and Romania/Morocco, Gulf States and India/Bangladesh/Philippines/ Nepal, and between rural and urban regions of China.

Authors then turn their attention to the various ways in which immigrant-receiving countries have responded to the economic crisis. Features and outcomes of such policies are examined: Examples from Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, and the United States show how some nations have tightened admission requirements, and eliminated or reduced the number of work permits and admission grants for economic migrants. Case studies from Spain, Japan, and the Czech Republic shed light on “pay-to-go” schemes which offer economic incentives to migrant workers who voluntarily withdraw their residence and work rights.

The impact of the recession on remittance flows is examined next. While the overall picture is one of sharp remittance decline, the report found significant variances in remittance “shocks” among recipient countries. By grouping top remittance recipients by world region, the report examines these shocks in greater detail, identifies regional trends in remittance flow, and offers possible explanations for differences.

The final section of the report describes how the recession has affected the financial well-being of immigrants.

Table of Contents 

I. Setting the Context: A Snapshot of Worldwide Migration

II. How the Recession Has Dampened the Movement of Economic Migrants to and from the Major Destinations

III. How the Recession Has Affected the Internal Movement of Economic Migrants: A Study of China

IV. Policy Changes and Selected Impacts in Immigrant-Receiving Countries with Rising Unemployment

V.  Remittances: Overlooked Trends

VI. The Recession and Immigrants’ Financial Well-Being

VII. Conclusion