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📙 Managing Labor Migration in the Twenty-First Century by Philip Martin, Manolo Abella, Christiane Kuptsch — free pdf


This was the first book read by me exclusively on immigration and a multi-faceted discussion on what contributes to the demand and supply of immigrants. The book also takes a look at some of the programs which were initiated by various nations in the US, Canada, Western Europe, Japan and Thailand at different points of time, what the expectations were when the programs were initiated and how they have eventually stood up on those expectations. A common failure of all the temporary worker programs is best summed up in a line from the book "There is nothing more permanent than temporary workers." Quite true. While governments and bureaucrats who frame the provisions of guest worker programs might expect that employers will register all their immigrant workers even when it takes them several months of wages to go through the whole registration process and immigrants themselves will return to their home nations after staying in the host nations for a few months, the realities are far more complex. With time, employers get used to having a virtually inexhaustible source of cheap and docile labor while the immigrants themselves get used to the higher wages and higher living standards of the host nations. As a remark on the very last page of the book makes clear: "What is worse than being exploited abroad? Not being exploited abroad." The book overall is a serious read for someone who is interested in the topic of migration and the demand and supply conditions leading up to it. Not only does it offer different perspectives that are drawn from a wide range of nations over several decades, it also provides some interesting factoids that would be interesting to some. To mention just two: The total number of immigrant workers at about 90 million constitutes 3% of the global labor force. Yet another- While 60% of the migration is in the developed nations (about half of that in the US), the rest 40% of the immigration is in the developing nations such as Thailand which in the short span of a few decades turned from a net exporter of immigrants to a net exporter of immigrants. Recommended for the serious reader and someone who is interested in how complex the realities of migration are.

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