International migration and poverty

Authored by: Meltem Yilmaz Sener

Routledge International Handbook of Poverty

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367178666
eBook ISBN: 9780429058103
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter looks at the discussions on the potential of international migration for bringing advancements in living standards for the migrants themselves, their families, and societies. It discusses the possible connections between poverty and international migration. On the one hand, the chapter looks at poverty and vulnerability as factors behind the migration decision. It debates in what contexts and under what circumstances poverty and/or vulnerability stirs migration, or whether international migrants are the ones who are relatively better off compared to the ones who remain in the home countries. It also deals with the question of whose migration brings the highest benefits for alleviating poverty in the origin country: whether it is the migration of the highly educated, highly skilled or the lower skilled that makes more difference. There is also a discussion on the extent to which migration from developing and underdeveloped countries brings improvements in terms of poverty in their origin countries. The chapter concludes with a summary and a discussion on the conditions under which migration can become a beneficial process for poverty alleviation.

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