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“Exceptional People”

May 27, 2011
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WHEN a Bangladeshi man goes to work on a construction site in the Middle East, his wife typically moves in with her husband’s family. Not all wives enjoy this. They sweat in a strange kitchen, take care of a bossy mother-in-law and see their husbands only for a few weeks each year. And although their husbands send home plenty of money, they often send it to their parents, not their wives. Migration creates losers as well as winners.

But the gains vastly outweigh the losses, as Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan make plain in their new book, “Exceptional People”. If rich countries were to admit enough migrants from poor countries to expand their own labour forces by a mere 3%, the world would be richer, according to one estimate, by $356 billion a year. Completely opening borders would add an astonishing $39 trillion over 25 years to the global economy. That is more than 500 times the amount the rich world spends on foreign aid each year. Migration is the most effective tool yet devised for reducing global poverty.

This is from a review in The Economist for the new book Exceptional People. I look forward to reading it.

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