Emigration data: we need a change of focus
Tbe emigration data project can be boosted by adopting a development focus in issues of emigration, the concern with the bilateral issues between origin and host countries notwithstanding. Increased demand for information on links between emigration and local development will increase allocation for information; and new queries will generate databases that we do not collect now, facilitating new research and understanding. The paper surveys our present databases and future requirements from this point of view. It first surveys our current knowledge of the links between emigration and development. It then identifies the areas where we cannot produce precise answers or quantify them because of inadequate data, rather than inadequate knowledge. This produces a preliminary wish list for data. Then the paper asks what further linkages we should strive to understand next. It argues that to analyse the links better, we should develop the capability for forecast and simulation of income effect, price effect and terms of trade effects of emigration. Many policy questions hinge on general equilibrium issues that can be adequately answered using these effects in a partial equilibrium framework. By using illustrative models for the effects, the paper tries to identify databases required for this sort of project. This provides a second round of wishes. Finally, data requirements identified throughout the paper are summarised, and strategies for collecting them discussed. Depending on the information, important recommendations are: (i) disaggregation of some categories in published tables; (ii) change of accounting format in some cases; (iii) periodic survey of emigrants in destination countries, and Indian districts of large emigration; (iv) database on internal migration and index of wages at major labour markets; (v) index of wages for highly emigrant skills; (vi) sociological study of returnees with structured interviews; (vii) procuring micro databases developed by private researchers.... [Show full abstract]
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