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Michael Clemens is a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD). He leads the Migration and Development Initiative at the center. His page on CGD’s website is here. Clemens has stated (here) that he does not support complete open borders, but does favor substantially freer migration for moral reasons as well as for its humanitarian impact.
Quick overview of Migration and Development (2:48):
The Biggest Idea in Development that No One Really Tried
Published writings that lay out a research agenda or describe research so far
- Migration and Development Research Is Moving Far beyond Remittances – Working Paper 365 by Michael Clemens, Çağlar Özden, and Hillel Rapoport, for the Center for Global Development. Definitive version of paper forthcoming in World Development.
Published writings on general ideas related to migration (not region-specific)
- Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? (PDF, 24 pages, ungated) (Journal of Economic Perspectives—Volume 25, Number 3—Summer 2011—Pages 83–106). Related material on this website: Double world GDP, suppression of wages of natives, remittances, and incentives for human capital development. Clemens also has an article in the Guardian (a UK newspaper) on his work titled A world without borders makes economic sense.
- The Place Premium: Wage Differences for Identical Workers across the U.S. Border – Working Paper 148 (link to webpage, PDF linked to from there) by Michael Clemens, Claudio E. Montenegro, and Lant Pritchett. Discussed on the place premium page.
- Income per Natural: Measuring Development as if People Mattered More Than Places – Working Paper 143, co-authored with Lant Pritchett, discussed on the income per natural page.
- Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development – Working Paper 180 is discussed on the brain drain page.
- A Case against Taxes and Quotas on High-Skill Emigration, linked to in a post by John Lee on the Open Borders Action Group.
- Why Don’t Remittances Appear to Affect Growth? – Working Paper 366 by Michael Clemens and David McKenzie, May 19, 2014, for the Center for Global Development, referenced at the remittances page.
Published writings on region-specific migration discussion
- Seize the Spotlight: A Case for Gulf Cooperation Council Engagement in Research on the Effects of Labor Migration, July 2013, focuses on migration policy in the Gulf States, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is referenced on our UAE page and in Carl Shulman’s blog post What does migration to the United Arab Emirates tell us about labor mobility?
- Skilled Migration from Mexico: Trends, Concerns, and Outlook, essay (in English and Spanish) for the Center for Global Development, May 13, 2014.
- Skill Development and Regional Mobility: Lessons from the Australia-Pacific Technical College by Michael Clemens, Colum Graham, and Stephen Howes, May 1, 2014, on SSRN. The paper is discussed in the blog post Generating skilled migration? The Australian Pacific Technical College and labour mobility by Henry Sherrell, May 26, 2014.
- Global Skill Partnerships: A Proposal for Technical Training in a Mobile World, Policy Paper for the Center for Global Development. Although the ideas are general, the paper focuses on nursing and North Africa.
Blog posts and articles
- The page emigration: the solution to Haiti’s woes? contains links to a number of articles and blog posts that Michael Clemens wrote advocating a “Golden Door Visa” for entry to the United States for victims of humanitarian disasters and bad policies in poor third world countries.
- The page self-ownership versus state ownership contains links to some of the writings of Michael Clemens where he makes moral arguments against restricting migration on account of concerns of brain drain.
- The blog post Do Farm Workers from Developing Countries Take Jobs from Americans? is referenced at the migrant labor in the US agricultural sector page.
- Notes of a conversation between Michael Clemens and GiveWell (February 20, 2013). Blogged about at Open Borders and at EconLog.
- Clemens on Haiti, The Biggest Idea in Development that No One Really Tried, and The Efficient, Egalitarian, Libertarian Utilitarian Way to Double World GDP by Bryan Caplan, where he praises Clemens’ work.
- The Sound You Hear is Your Paradigm Shifting, a blog post by Will Wilkinson about the income per natural paper.
- One of the Best Anti-Poverty Solutions: Immigration by Ben Casnocha that references and highlights Michael Clemens’ work.
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