Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

by Paul Collier
     
 

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It is one of the most pressing and controversial questions of our time — vehemently debated, steeped in ideology, profoundly divisive. Who should be allowed to immigrate and who not? What are the arguments for and against limiting the numbers? We are supposedly a nation of immigrants, and yet our policies reflect deep anxieties and the quirks of short-term

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Overview

It is one of the most pressing and controversial questions of our time — vehemently debated, steeped in ideology, profoundly divisive. Who should be allowed to immigrate and who not? What are the arguments for and against limiting the numbers? We are supposedly a nation of immigrants, and yet our policies reflect deep anxieties and the quirks of short-term self-interest, with effective legislation snagging on thousand-mile-long security fences and the question of how long and arduous the path to citizenship should be.

In Exodus, Paul Collier, the world-renowned economist and bestselling author of The Bottom Billion, clearly and concisely lays out the effects of encouraging or restricting migration. Drawing on original research and case studies, he explores this volatile issue from three perspectives: that of the migrants themselves, that of the people they leave behind, and that of the host societies where they relocate.

Immigration is a simple economic equation, but its effects are complex. Exodus confirms how crucial it will be that public policy face and address all of its ramifications. Sharply written and brilliantly clarifying, Exodus offers a provocative analysis of an issue that affects us all.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-08-15
An economist and expert on the world's poorest populations analyzes who migrates, why and the effects on host societies. Collier (Economics/Univ. of Oxford; The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--and How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity, 2010, etc.) considers migration from poor to rich nations and what immigration policies are most appropriate. Eschewing the emotional responses often associated with his topic, he insists that "Is migration good or bad?" is the wrong question. Rather, he focuses on how much is best, hoping that his evidence-based study will help governments manage the flow. "[H]igh emotion and little knowledge" have created huge differences in migration policies (Japan is closed to immigrants), with most officials making value- rather than evidence-based judgments. Collier writes at length about the critical roles of diasporas, which make the cost of migration fall and provide much-needed help to the newly arrived. As diasporas grow (chiefly in big cities, in the United States and elsewhere), more migrants are likely to come, and fewer are absorbed into mainstream society. He notes that migrants are winners in the process. Mostly young, able to afford the high costs of migration and willing to take the risks, they tend to succeed. They do not compete closely with indigenous workers, writes Collier, but their earnings are driven down by the arrival of additional immigrants. The biggest losers are the people left behind in poor, mainly African nations, which lose their brightest and most talented, gaining somewhat from remittances. In all, migration does not have significantly adverse effects on host societies, writes the author, but nations must set ceilings on the sizes of diasporas. That way, migration will achieve a sustainable rate and not accelerate to a point where it becomes damaging. Valuable reading for policymakers.
From the Publisher
"Paul Collier is one of the world's most thoughtful economists. His books consistently illuminate and provoke. Exodus is no exception." —The Economist

"Magisterial. Paul Collier offers a comprehensive, incisive, and well-written balance sheet of the pros and cons of immigration for receiving societies, sending societies, and migrants themselves. For everyone on every side of this contentious issue, Exodus is a must-read." —Robert Putnam, Malkin Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University, and author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

"Paul Collier has done it again. Exodus is his latest effort to subject taboo topics to straightforward questions that most other scholars shrink from asking. This time Collier considers the effects of migration on the departing peoples' new homes, their old homes, and the emigrants themselves. Collier's framework for thinking about the topic is valuable; his explanation of past research is insightful; and his agenda for further studies displays his aptitude for considering big topics while pressing for detailed research. Moreover, he courageously interconnects different fields of scholarship-addressing problems that don't fit neatly into academic categories. This book is a true achievement." —Robert B. Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank Group, U.S. Trade Representative, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State

"At a time when debate over immigration policy is polarizing public opinion, there could be no better guide to the issues involved than Paul Collier. He is lucid, undogmatic, convinced of the potential benefits of immigration but aware that these benefits can be put at risk if the process is managed indiscriminately or thoughtlessly. This important book will not end the debate but will help steer it." —Paul Seabright, Toulouse School of Economics and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse

"An economist and expert on the world's poorest populations analyzes who migrates, why and the effects on host societies...Valuable reading for policymakers." —Kirkus

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195398656
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,364,496
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.10(d)

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