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Mr. Tamim Bayoumi and Jelle Barkema
Using bilateral data on migration across US metro areas, we find strong evidence that increasing house price and income inequality has reduced long distance migration, the type most linked to jobs. For those migrating uphill, from a less to a more prosperous location, lower mobility is driven by increasing house price inequlity, as the disincentives from higher house prices dominate the incentives from higher earnings. By contrast, increasing income inequality drives the fall in downhill migration as the disincentives from lower earnings dominate the incentives from lower house prices. The model underlines the plight of those trapped in decaying metro areas—those “left behind”.
Patrick A. Imam and Mr. Kangni R Kpodar
This paper analyzes the impact of citizenship laws on economic development. We first document the evolution of citizenship laws around the world, highlighting the main features of jus soli, jus sanguinis as well as mixed regimes, and shedding light on the channels through which they could have differentiated impact on economic development. We then compile a data set of citizenship laws around the world. Using cross-country regressions, panel-data techniques, as well as the synthetic control method and subjecting the results to a battery of tests, we find robust evidence that jus soli laws—being more inclusive—lead to higher income levels than alternative citizenship rules in developing countries, though to a less extent in countries with stronger institutional environment.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Ms. Svetlana Cerovic, Misael Galdamez, Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov, Franz Loyola, Zsoka Koczan, Mr. Bogdan Lissovolik, Mr. Jan Kees Martijn, Ms. Yulia Ustyugova, and Joyce Wong
Outward migration has been an important phenomenon for countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), particularly those in Central America and the Caribbean. This paper examines recent trends in outward migration from and remittances to LAC, as well as their costs and benefits. For the home country, the negative impact from emigration on labor resources and productivity seems to outweigh growth gains from remittances, notably for the Caribbean. However, given emigration, remittance flows play key financing and stabilizing roles in Central America and the Caribbean. They facilitate private consumption smoothing, support financial sector stability and fiscal revenues, and help reduce poverty and inequality, without strong evidence for harmful competitiveness effects through shifts in the real exchange rate.
Ms. Florence Jaumotte, Ksenia Koloskova, and Ms. Sweta Chaman Saxena

The recent refugee surge has brought attention to the macro-critical policy issue of migration, including speculations that migration can be an unfavorable phenomenon for the receiving economies. A careful examination of the impact of migration on host economies is thus critical. Focusing on the economic impact, most of the academic discussion has centered on the effect of migration on labor markets and public finances. Much less is known about the long-term impact of immigration on the GDP per capita (or the standard of living) of host economies. This note makes three contributions to estimating this impact: it uses a restricted sample of advanced economies rather than a mixed sample of higher- and lower-income host countries, it examines whether the GDP per capita impact varies for different skill levels of migrants, and it goes beyond the aggregate impact of migration on GDP per capita to examine how broadly gains in this regard are shared across the population. In particular, it examines whether migration impacts the income levels of those both at the top and at the bottom of the earnings distribution, or whether gains are instead concentrated in a small group of high earners. It finds that immigration significantly increases GDP per capita in advanced economies, that both high- and lower-skilled migrants can raise labor productivity, and that an increase in the migrant share benefits the average income per capita of both the bottom 90 percent and the top 10 percent of earners, suggesting the gains from immigration are broadly shared.

Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Lone Engbo Christiansen, Allan Dizioli, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Mr. Nadeem Ilahi, Ms. Anna Ilyina, Mr. Gil Mehrez, Mr. Haonan Qu, Ms. Faezeh Raei, Ms. Alaina P Rhee, and Ms. Daria V Zakharova
This paper analyses the impact of large and persistent emigration from Eastern European countries over the past 25 years on these countries’ growth and income convergence to advanced Europe. While emigration has likely benefited migrants themselves, the receiving countries and the EU as a whole, its impact on sending countries’ economies has been largely negative. The analysis suggests that labor outflows, particularly of skilled workers, lowered productivity growth, pushed up wages, and slowed growth and income convergence. At the same time, while remittance inflows supported financial deepening, consumption and investment in some countries, they also reduced incentives to work and led to exchange rate appreciations, eroding competiveness. The departure of the young also added to the fiscal pressures of already aging populations in Eastern Europe. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for sending countries to mitigate the negative impact of emigration on their economies, and the EU-wide initiatives that could support these efforts.
David E. Bloom and Tarun Khanna

The September 2007 issue of F&D looks at the growth of cities and the trend toward urbanization. Within the next year, for the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world's population will be living in urban rather than rural areas. What are the economic implications of this urban revolution? Economists generally agree that urbanization, if handled well, holds great promise for higher growth and a better quality of life. But as the lead article tells us, the flip side is also true: if handled poorly, urbanization could not only impede development but also give rise to slums. Other articles in this series look at poverty as an urban phenomenon in the developing world and the development of megacities and what this means for governance, funding, and the provision of services. Another group of articles discusses the challenge of rebalancing growth in China. 'People in Economics' profiles Harvard economist Robert Barro; 'Country Focus' looks at the challenges facing Mexico, and 'Back to Basics' takes a look at real exchange rates.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Does economic growth have morally beneficial consequences? Celebrated economists and philosophers like Adam Smith and John Rawls have long recognized the connection between economics and morality. In his new book, The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, Harvard University professor Benjamin Friedman argues that materialism and morality are not at odds with each other, that economic growth yields benefits far beyond the material, and that economic growth and moral growth go hand in hand, reinforcing each other. At a February 8 Book Forum sponsored by the IMF, panelists Sebastian Mallaby (The Washington Post), Nigel Ashford (George Mason University), Simon Johnson (MIT), and moderator the Reverend Andrew Small (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) joined Friedman for a debate on economic growth, morality, and policy.

Mr. Marcos d Chamon and Mr. Michael R Kremer
This paper considers the long-run evolution of the world economy in a model where countries' opportunities to develop depend on their trade with advanced economies. As developing countries become advanced, they further improve trade opportunities for the remaining developing countries. Whether or not the world economy converges to widespread prosperity depends on the population growth differential between developing and advanced economies, the rate at which countries develop, and potentially on initial conditions. A calibration using historical data suggests that the long-run prospects for lagging developing regions, such as Africa, likely hinge on the sufficiently rapid development of China and India.
Mr. Akhtar Akhtar Hossain
This paper has examined the phenomenon of convergence of per capita output levels across regions of Bangladesh during 1982–97. The main finding is that most of the regions of Bangladesh experienced strong convergence of per capita output levels during 1982–91. There are two other findings within the domain of convergence. First, a few poorer regions of the country did not demonstrate any output convergence for the full or part of the sample period. Second, no evidence has been found for regional convergence of per capita output levels during 1991–97 that coincided with opening up the economy.

This paper examines the growth experience of 20 states of India during 1961–91, using cross-sectional estimation and the analytical framework of the Solow-Swan neoclassical growth model. We find evidence of absolute convergence—initially poor states grew faster than their initially rich counterparts. Also, the dispersion of real per capita state incomes widened over the period 1961–91. However, relatively more grants were transferred from the central government to the poor states than to their rich counterparts. Significant barriers to population flows also exist, as net migration from poor to rich states responded only weakly to cross-state income differentials,