Dean Yang explores policies to increase the development impacts of migration for World Bank

February 12, 2015

Evidence on Policies to Increase the Development Impacts of International Migration,” co-written by Dean Yang, has been published in the World Bank Research Observer. Posted on January 20, Yang and co-author David McKenzie of the World Bank aim to, according to Yang, “survey the empirical evidence on the development impacts of a wide variety of international migration policies.”

“International migration offers individuals and their families the potential to experience immediate and large gains in their incomes and offers a number of other positive benefits to the sending communities and countries,” Yang and McKenzie write. “However, there are also concerns about the potential costs of migration, including concerns about trafficking and human rights, a desire for remittances to be used more effectively, and concerns about a loss of externalities from skilled workers. As a result, there is increasing interest in policies that can enhance the development benefits of international migration and mitigate these potential costs.”

Ultimately, the co-authors argue that while “the preliminary evidence suggest some areas of policy success [regarding international migration],” more research should be done to “examine the generalizability of these results.” “There’s reliable evidence of positive impacts of bilateral migration facilitation policies, financial services … for migrants, and migrant financial education programs,” Yang writes on his website. “There’s less evidence on the benefits of other types of policies.”

Dean Yang is an associate professor of public policy and economics. His research is on the economic problems of developing countries. His specific areas of interest include: international migration, microfinance, health, corruption, and the economics of disasters.