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The global economic crisis and international migration: An uncertain outlook

Gijs Beets and Frans Willekens

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2009, vol. 7, issue 1, 19-37

Abstract: This article investigates the impact of the global economic crisis on international migration. Empirical evidence is scarce and mainly captures short-term consequences. The study covers (1) international migration theory, (2) the impact of past financial crises on international migration, and (3) published expert opinions, studies and discussions. The impact varies by reason for migration and by migrants’ employment status. Labour migration is affected most, in particular migration of low-skilled persons. Political and environmental refugees, marriage migration and family reunion will not be much affected. Remittances are affected less than predicted. The management of migration during periods of economic downturns should be guided by short- and long-term perspectives on the role of migration in development.

Date: 2009
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