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Mainstreaming Migration into the Development Agenda: A Case Study of Pakistan
By: SDPI

Partner: Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka

Duration: May 2013 to September 2013

Team Members: Safwan A. Khan

Introduction:

The role of migration and remittances is vital in South Asian economies. Though, migration and remittances have a significant impact on development, ‘migration policies’ and ‘development policies’ have been treated separately in countries’ development agendas. In this context, it is important to examine the status of migration as a tool of development.

Objective:

  • The main objective of the study is to explore relationship between outward migration from Pakistan, and development within the country with  special focus on capital stock, per capita output growth and education, hypothesizing whether and how these variables were related over the last 40 years in the county’s history.

Activities:

  • Historical quantitative analysis,
  • Primary data collection

Findings:

  • Results from the econometric analysis reveal that emigration numbers have had a positive relationship with GDP per capita in the country, negative relationship with capital stock, and no relationship with literacy rate. The qualitative analysis, however, does suggest that migration has been and is likely to continue to have a relationship with development in the country through a variety of other mediums such as knowledge and technology transfers, export growth via diaspora, and remittance flows into the country. Overseas migration can have beneficial spill-overs domestically if the economy provides opportunities for those residing overseas just as much as for those settled within the country.

Recommendations:

  • Migration is mainly triggered by economic conditions within the country. Hence, when economic opportunities become low owing to suppressed competition and monopolized markets, lesser economic opportunities  can be tapped.
  • Migration policies need to look more closely at skill development for those seeking to go abroad instead of focusing narrowly on remittances alone.
  • Higher outward migration flows may not necessarily be bad for the country of origin. Migration plays an important role in knowledge and technology transfers back home.
  • Diaspora provides excellent markets for the export of the country of origin. Creating joint ventures with diaspora bodies and venture capital initiatives or cross country incubators will help propel exports for the country besides providing lucrative markets overseas.