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Exodus

How Migration is Changing Our World

By Paul Collier
15-minute read
Audio available
Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World by Paul Collier

Exodus (2013) offers insights into one of the most contested social and political issues of our time: human migration. By looking at the effects of migration on everyone concerned, you’ll gain insights into the dangers and benefits that migration, and immigration, hold for our economies and societies.

  • Anyone interested in politics and economics
  • Anyone whose ancestors once migrated to a new country
  • Anyone who has strong opinions about immigration policy

Paul Collier is an economist and professor, as well as the director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. He is the author of The Bottom Billion and was named one of the top global thinkers by Forbes Magazine.

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Exodus

How Migration is Changing Our World

By Paul Collier
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World by Paul Collier
Synopsis

Exodus (2013) offers insights into one of the most contested social and political issues of our time: human migration. By looking at the effects of migration on everyone concerned, you’ll gain insights into the dangers and benefits that migration, and immigration, hold for our economies and societies.

Key idea 1 of 9

Though migration has increased in recent decades, few politicians want to talk about the issues surrounding it.

Migration is one of the most pressing issues of our time. As a result of globalization, increased mobility and growing inequality between wealthy and poorer nations, more people migrate today than ever before. But why?

First, there is a significant disparity in income and living standards between “developing” and “developed” countries. Poorer countries often have far lower standards of living, and their social and political institutions tend to be weakened by corruption and don’t necessarily work toward the betterment of the nation.

Second, migration has become easier for those who earn good money in their country of origin. For example, it’s very expensive to migrate from Congo to Denmark; the entire process becomes a lot easier if you have some money to spare.

Finally, large, established diasporas, that is, groups of people living in a country other than their ancestral homeland, can help new migrants settle and find work in their country of arrival. The larger the diaspora, the more people it will attract.

But despite this massive increase in migration, politicians don’t seem to like talking about it. 

On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that there isn’t a lot of data about worldwide migration, as researchers dread sifting through the huge data sets needed to produce scientifically meaningful results.

On the other hand, migration is a complex issue riddled with moral and ethical problems. For example, policymakers have to raise questions like: Is it right to let some migrants into the country, but not others? Will politicians be considered racist if they don’t want poor migrants in their country? And what happens to the countries that the migrants leave behind?

These are some of the questions that will play a decisive role in determining the future of migration policies.

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