Economics of International Migration: Proceedings of a Conference Held by the International Economic Association

Economics of International Migration: Proceedings of a Conference Held by the International Economic Association

Economics of International Migration: Proceedings of a Conference Held by the International Economic Association

Economics of International Migration: Proceedings of a Conference Held by the International Economic Association

Excerpt

In the world economy, as it evolved up to 1913, international mobility of labour was an important element in economic growth; and most of what is known about migration is based on studies of the experience of countries during that period. In the last thirty years, however, the scale and character of international movements of population have been profoundly influenced by events such as the American Restriction Act of 1924, the Great Depression of the early 1930's, and the Second World War. Not only has the environment changed but so also has the intellectual climate: the questions which used to be asked may not be the appropriate ones to-day. In order to contribute towards a new assessment, the International Economic Association decided to devote its seventh Conference to a re-appraisal of the role of migration in the international economy, and the results are given in this volume.

In view of the immensity of the subject, it was necessary to keep the programme within certain limits. A strong case could have been made for including a review of the range and quality of migration statistics -- the difficulties of definition, classification, and comparability -- and a critique of methods used to improve the data. While no one will deny that this is an important task, it was felt that to do justice to it would have upset the balance of the programme. For the same reason it was decided to rule out a systematic analysis of demographic aspects, e.g. the effect of trends in the rate of natural increase on the propensity to migrate, or the influence of migration on the population structure of sending and receiving countries. The relevant statistical problems have been well probed by the Population Commission of the United Nations and the International Labour Office, and recent work by demographers on international migration may be seen in the Proceedings of the World Population Conference held in Rome in 1954. Plenty of statistical and demographic matter will be found in this book; but it is subordinate to the treatment of an economic theme, except in Part VI where social aspects are discussed and a detailed demographic analysis of the unique inflow of population into Israel is presented.

When economists speak of mobility of labour they mean movement . . .

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