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Migration from developing countries Essay

Migration process originated from ancient times when people move from this place to other place due to the exhaustion of nature resources. Pass thousands year of development, people have not only searched for natural resources for their demand but also they have looked for a life with high quality of living, education and social security. Nowadays, there are many people living for away from their home country. Environmental problems, poor, conflict and riot, corruption and gap between rich and poor countries are all factor cause migration. As the matter of the fact is almost migrants move from developing countries to developed countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Italy and Germany to find stabilization and freedom. According to United Nations (2013), 3.2 percent of world’s population – over 230 million people were international migrants in 2013.

Moreover, migrants have significant influence in not only society but also economy of both abandoned countries and the countries they are moving to. Although, migration could lead to brain drain and income inequality but migration from developing countries to developed countries should not stopped because it provides considerable labor for the shortage of workers in developed countries as well as reducing the poverty in developing countries. Migration should not be stopped because migrants from developing countries are providing a large proportion of worker for labor shortages in developed countries. According to a report from International Business Leader (n.d), more than 40% of labor forces in the Gulf region are migrants.

Additionally, the labor workforce in the United States is increasing because of growing of international migration. Foreign-born persons (in the United States) accounted for 16.4 percent of the local labor force – 23.1 million people (Singer 2012). Furthermore, over one in every four foreign workers in the United Stated are Mexican – made up approximately 4 percent of labor force (Grieco & Ray 2004). Furthermore, according to Labor Force survey of Eurostat (2013), in 2012, 8.6 million foreigners who came from outside Europe worked in 27 countries in Europe. These data figures suggest that the supplementation of migrants from developing countries into labor force in developed countries were strong evidence for the benefit of migration. However, it has been argued that migration leads to brain drain in developing countries.

The International Organization of Migration (IOM) estimated that Africa has lost one-third of its human resources, particularly skilled people (Siddiqui, 2012). Since 1990, proximately 20,000 doctors, university lectures, engineers and other professionals have gone to developed countries every year (Unesco, (n.d)). This view claims that brain drain is a worrying problem in some countries that have a small number of qualified people in workforce. For example, Ethiopia has the highest rate of losing human resources. Over 10 -15 years ago, 50% of Ethiopians did not come back their country after finishing their courses in foreign countries (African Renaissance Ambassador (n.d)). Moreover, between 1988 and 1991, 74,6% of human capital from many different organizations was lost in Ethiopia (African Renaissance Ambassador (n.d)).

Additionally, 75% Jamaicans who are highly educated have been in the United States (Newland, 2003). According to Migration Policy Institute, a huge proportion of highly skilled people – 12% of population in Mexico is working in the United States and 30% of its was PhDs (Newland, 2003). Therefore, if losing highly skilled people continues, impact of brain drain from migration to developing countries is enormous. The is no denying the fact that developing countries have lost many highly skilled people due to migration but they also got benefits from its. Firstly, developing countries received a lot of remittances from migrants. In 2010, according to the Factbook’s, remittances from migrants sending back to developing countries increased from $307 billion in 2009 to $325 billion in 2010 – three times the size of official development assistances (Theguardian, 2010).

Most of remittances amount are transferred to middle- income countries. Furthermore, remittances have an important role in some poorest countries that made up to 25% of countries’ GDP (Theguardian, 2010). Secondly, there is a trend for migrants to return their home countries taking new skills and knowledge back with them base on policies for attracting talent of the government in developing countries. For example, Chinese government has attached special important to seek and develop talent for Chinese living aboard in recent years through some programs such as the 2008 Thousand Talents Program; 2010 Thousand Young Talents Program; 2011 Thousand Foreign Experts Program; 2011 Special Talent Zone and the 2012 Ten Thousand Talent Plan.

The purpose of those programs was to attract Chinese migrants return back and contribute their talent for the development of nation. In 2008, over 3,300 Chinese highly skilled professional returned back their home countries by The Thousand Talents Program (United Nations Chronicle (2013)). Consequently, the problem of brain drain would not be a matter of concern of migration from developing countries to developed countries. Another issues are migration can reduce poverty in developing countries. At national level, remittances from international migrants have considerable effect on poverty. According a survey of Adams and Page (2005) which crossing 71 countries, investigated that every 10% of increasing in official international remittances per capita causes decline of 3.5% in people living poverty.

Furthermore, international remittances was proved as a method for “ deep and severity of poverty” in Latin America, East – West and South Africa, South Asia and other religion (Adams 1991; Adams 2006; Ajayi et al. 2009; Anyanwu and Erhijakpor 2010; Fajnzylber and Lopez 2007; Gupta et al. 2007; Lachaud 1999). In Nepal, national poverty rate decreased from 42% in 1995-1996 to 31% in 2003-2004 because of growing significantly in remittances (World Bank 2006). In addition, remittances were responsible for considerable reduction on poverty at family level. In South Africa, remittances from migrants accounted for 32% of household income in rural (Rwelamira and Kirsten 2003). In overall migrant household income in the four districts of Bangladesh, 55% of its were from international remittances (Siddiqui & Abrar 2003).

According to the IOM household remittance survey of Bangladesh (2009) investigated that remittances were cause of 20% migrant household who have increased household income at least once. Dang & et all (2010) found that families have members which are migrant can earn more money and save it better than family with no migrants. In Ghana, the impact of economic shocks on household welfare had already decreased significantly due to remittances (Kwankye and Anarfi 2011). On the other hand, some studies found that international remittances are likely to increase income inequality.

In 2006, base on data of household survey in Ghana, Adams investigated that Gini index is a standard measure of income inequality, increased from 0.402 to 0.413 when remittances are included in family income. Furthermore, richer family received remittances much more than poorer family in Eastern European and former Soviet Union (World Bank, 2007). Milanovic (1987) also support for this idea after using panel date from the 1973, 1978 and 1983 Yugoslavian household survey, the inequality is increased due to international remittances. According to Stahl (1982) and Lipton (1980) migration tend to increase inequality in rural areas because only wealthy families can give facilities for searching better change for family’s members in urban or aboard. In addition, a study of Adams (1989) indicated increasing inequality has happened Egypt because of international remittances.

It has argued that international remittances have no impact to increase significantly income inequality, even decrease income inequality index. In 2006, Mckenzie analyzed data of 214 cities with population less than 100,000 people and investigated that migration is a cause of increasing income inequality in the early period but as levels of migration increase, remittances tend to reduce income inequality. Additionally, a survey conducted in Philippines by Yang and Martinez (2006) with a sample group of 26,121 families, which showed that the impact of international remittances on income equality was not statistically significant. Moreover, other report also indicated that remittances have positive effect to increase income and decrease income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean (Acosta & et al, 2007).

In another recent study, Gubert, Lassourd and Mesplé-Somps (2009) found that poverty rates in Mali decreased from 16% to 11% and income inequality by about 5%. Similarly, remittances have been toward for improving the welfare of poorer rural households (Stark and Taylor (1989); Adams (1991)). Therefore, international remittances have impact of decreasing income equality in developing countries. Migration is not problem for one country or one area of the world. Furthermore, migration has both positive and negative effect to country of origin and destination. However, the fact is that developing countries continue to face challenges to brain drain and income inequality caused by migration.

In addition international remittances from migrant sending their home countries help to reduce poverty at nation and family level. At the same time, migration from developing countries provides a huge proportion of worker for labor shortage in developed countries. Migration is benefit to the social and economy. This is to say; migration from developing countries to developed countries should not be stopped because of reducing poverty and providing employees for labor shortage.


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