Congrès Mondial des Études sur le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du Nord

Barcelone, du 19 au 24 julliet 2010


ECONOMIES OF THE MEDITERRANEAN - 1/2: Migration and Trade in the Mediterranean (091) - Panel

· Institution: CREMed, Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean (Spain) and European Institute, London School of Economics (UK)

· Organisateur: Dr. Joan Costa and Prof. Jose Garcia-Montalvo

· Langue: English

· Description: “Migration and Trade in the Mediterranean” is one of the two sessions of the panel series on “Economies of the Mediterranean” organized by the CREMed (Center for Research on the Economies of the Mediterranean) and the European Institute in the WOCMES framework.
The session on “Migration and Trade in the Mediterranean” seeks to analyze the relationship between the Free Trade Agreements (involving south Mediterranean countries and their EU counterparts) and the growing migratory movements.
We will examine the complementarity and/or substitutability between trade and migrations and the effects of the market liberalization on migrations. The session will also address, among other topics, remittance flows and the effects of migrations and trade on the labor market.

Chair: Heba Nasser (Vice Dean for Community Affairs, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt)

Paper presenter: Alfred Tovias (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem), “Emigration Policy: the Case of Mediterranean Countries”
Contrary to what happens with immigration policies that are widely dealt with by academic literature, research on emigration policies, particularly those of Mediterranean countries, is scarce. To fill this void, the main aim of the paper will be to review and analyze emigration policies of Mediterranean Non-EU Member Countries and determine if indeed they worked in practice. Emigration policies will be subdivided into four categories: 1. Policies that favor the permanent return of migrants/encourage visits of diaspora back to the homeland; 2. Policies that favor cyclical patterns of migration; 3. Policies that promote economic development by channeling money brought back from overseas trough remittances; 4. Policies that facilitate the migrants’ settlement in the host country and seek to integrate them culturally and socially there. One preliminary conclusion is that whereas immigration policies are largely based on control ("sticks"), emigration policies are mostly run by incentives (‘carrots’). These policies are varied, some official, some unofficial, sometimes reinforcing each other but sometimes contradicting each other completely to the point of cancelling each other and leading to failure. Thus the paper addresses also the issue of Policy Coherence, which has been the object of a lot of attention by the OECD more recently.

Paper presenter: Mehmed Serkan Tosun (University of Nevada, Reno and IZA, USA), “International Labor Migration, Brain Drain and Fiscal Policy in the Euro-Mediterranean Region”
This paper uses a two-region, two-period overlapping generations model with international labor mobility to examine the efficacy of using tax policy to internalize the externalities created by international labor migration. Extending an income tax to brain drain tax has a substantial limiting effect on labor migration and a small negative effect on per worker growth. On the other hand, it is a solution to the negative externality problem associated with brain drain. It is also found that such a policy change can raise substantial tax revenue for the SMCs which could be used to enhance human capital in the region.

Paper presenter: Susanne Bauer (Center for Near and Middle East Studies (CNMS), Marburg, Germany), “Talent for Development: Scaling-Up Positive Effects of Migration in the MENA Region”
German Development Cooperation programmes are becoming aware of the potentials represented by migrants, and aim to help scale up the positive effects of migration. At the same time, these programmes are working to mitigate negative impacts of migration on the development of the countries of origin. Private sector development efforts specifically support the multiple transnational trade relations between migrant entrepreneurs, their countries of origin and know-how transfer for individual business start-ups by family members. Talent for development is coined as a term for scaling-up the positive effects of migration and trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The session offers a discussion platform to exchange options and experiences that show how to strengthen these potentials by improving the necessary framework conditions and building-up the capacities of institutional partners in the countries and regions.

Paper presenter: Yehudith Kahn (Tel Hai Academic College), “Interrelationships between Migration and Poverty: Evidence from Egypt and Morocco”
Background: Migration has traditionally been used as a survival strategy in times of high unemployment and financial crisis. Beyond mere short-term survival, it can be seen as a deliberate choice to improve livelihoods (Bebbington 1999), through accumulation of both financial and human capital. Remittances sent back to migrant-sending regions are often said to play a vital role in alleviating poverty and improving livelihood. A recent study found that poor individuals were more likely to migrate that non-poor (Sabates-Wheeler 2008). However, some research suggests that migration may not be an available choice for the poorest due to prohibitive financial costs as well as limited access to networks and disadvantage in term of skills (Adam 1983).
Research question: The current study focuses on the link between migration and poverty, comparing Egypt and Morocco, two countries with high levels of international migration, both of which are in the top 10 recipients of remittances worldwide (Nassar 2009).. Does past poverty affect migration choice? Does migration improve living standards and help break the cycle of poverty? Are there differences in migration patterns between the two countries?
Methodology: In order to determine the relationship between poverty and migration, data from two household surveys from the NIDI (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute) Eurostat database were analysed, providing extensive data on household composition, living conditions, economic conditions, migration history, motives for migration, migration networks and future intentions. Data were collected for both current and return migrants, as well as a control group of non-migrants. The survey included 1,941 households in Egypt and 1,953 households in Morocco. A bivariate probit model will be used to test whether migration is causally related to poverty.
Implications: This paper will examine the experiences of both current and return migrants in order to determine whether migration had an impact on living standards. While it is difficult to separate cause and effect in migration, by comparing data from current, return and non- migrants, it will be possible to observe sequential effects on poverty. No previous research has compared migrants from two Mediterranean/MENA countries - this will provide vital information on migration patterns to Europe, motivations for migration and the benefits experienced by sending countries and individual migrants.