Policy Article

Foreign Aid Can Dampen Migration If It Improves Public Services

Authors

  • Rainer Thiele
  • Mauro Lanati
Publication Date

Key Messages

  • Many development researchers think that foreign aid most likely leads to more emigration because, with higher incomes, more individuals can afford to migrate.
  • Our research points in the opposite direction: development aid often provides an incentive to stay at home because aid often leads to better public services.
  • Hence, scaling up development aid to migrants’ countries of origin could reduce immigration to Europe.
  • However, this effect is small. According to our quantitative analysis, aid would have to be doubled to reduce emigration rates by as little as 15 percent. Thus, a noticeable impact on migration would require an unrealistically large increase in aid.

Kiel Institute Expert

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Key Words

  • Development Aid
  • Migration