Summary: The themes of the 2006 Global Economic Prospects (GEP) are international remittances and migration, their economic consequences, and how policies can increase their role in reducing poverty. The GEP explores the gains and losses from international migration from the perspective of developing countries, with special attention to the money that migrants send home. The report also considers policy initiatives that could improve the developmental impact of migration, with particular attention to remittances. The first chapter reviews recent developments in and prospects for the global economy and their implications for developing countries. Chapter 2 uses a model-based simulation to evaluate the potential global welfare gains and distributional impact from an increase in high-income countries' labor force caused by migration from developing countries. Chapter 3 surveys the economic literature on the benefits and costs of migration for migrants and their countries of origin. Chapter 4 investigates the size of remittance flows to developing countries, the use of formal and informal channels, the role of government policies in improving the development impact of remittances, and, their macroeconomic impact. Chapter 5 addresses the impact of remittances at the household level. The last chapter investigates policy measures that could lower the cost of remittance transactions for poor households and measures to strengthen the financial infrastructure supporting remittances.
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