Diasporas can play an important role in the economic development of their countries of origin or ancestry. Beyond their well-known role as senders of remittances, diasporas also can promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills. Policymakers increasingly recognize that an engaged diaspora can be an asset — or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants.
Economic and demographic disparities will shape the mobility of labor and skills during the 21st century. The populations of richer societies are aging rapidly, while working-age populations continue to grow in some emerging economies and most low-income countries. Despite these trends, many countries continue to assume that today’s demographic realities will persist. This policy brief describes how the current geography of migration is changing, and offers recommendations for policymakers.
This edited volume develops a pragmatic approach to the engagement of highly skilled members of the diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin. The book, edited by a World Bank senior economist, is based on empirical work in middle-income and high-income economies.
The region encompassing Central and Eastern Europe as well as the former Soviet Union is the source of a sizeable share of international migrants today, yet many of these countries' development efforts do not benefit from strong diaspora ties.
The expansion of access to credit through microfinance—now a multibillion-dollar sector—has resulted in profound shifts across the developing world. This article, using Cambodia as its example, discusses the ways in which households are using microcredit in coordination with migration, and addresses critical questions about who benefits from these linkages—and what vulnerabilities they might create for migrants.
El Salvador's lengthy civil war crushed diasporas' opportunities for political or civic engagement in this small, densely-populated Central American nation. However, hometown associations—diaspora organizations that contribute to the development needs of their members' hometowns—represent a modern-day venue for civil society participation. This article explores how diasporas are contributing to development in more ways than just cash flows and projects by transforming the governance landscape.