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Michael Clemens (Washington) on the Economics of Migration

Dr Michael Clemens

Dr Michael Clemens

In this podcast we meet Dr Michael Clemens from the Center for Global Development in Washington. Dr Clemens is a passionate advocate of greater migration flows due to the economic benefits such flows bring, be it in spillovers to education and technology, or via direct reductions in labour costs. Dr Clemens’ recent work exploited a lottery system which was used to provide a temporary working visa to a sub-set of Indian software workers from a single firm, allowing Clemens to differentiate between place of work, whilst keeping all other aspects constant (type of work, firm policies and practices, etc.). Like other workers, Dr Clemens found that a large component of wage differentials was place-based, the so-called ‘Big-Mac Theory’ of development.

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