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Paperback | $31.00 Short | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780262582773 | 488 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 52 illus.| January 2008

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Global Migration and the World Economy

Two Centuries of Policy and Performance


World mass migration began in the early nineteenth century, when advances in transportation technology and industrial revolutions at home enabled increasing numbers of people to set off for other parts of the globe in search of a better life. Two centuries later, there is no distant African, Asian, or Latin American village that is not within reach of some high-wage OECD labor market. This book is the first comprehensive economic assessment of world mass migration taking a long-run historical perspective, including north-north, south-south, and south-north migrations. Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey Williamson, both economists and economic historians, consider two centuries of global mobility, assessing its impact on the migrants themselves as well as on the sending and receiving countries.

Global Migration and the World Economy covers two great migration waves: the first, from the 1820s to the beginning of World War I, when immigration was largely unrestricted; the second, beginning in 1950, when mass migration continued to grow despite policy restrictions. The book also explores the period between these two global centuries when world migration shrank sharply because of two world wars, immigration quotas, and the Great Depression. The authors assess the economic performance of these world migrations, the policy reactions to deal with them, and the political economy that connected one with the other. The last third of Global Migration and the World Economy focuses on modern experience and shows how contemporary debates about migration performance and policy can be informed by a comprehensive historical perspective.

About the Authors

Timothy J. Hatton is Professor of Economics at the Australian National University and the University of Essex. He is the co-author (with Jeffrey Williamson) of Global Migration and the World Economy.

Jeffrey G. Williamson is Laird Bell Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is the coauthor (with Kevin O'Rourke) of Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth Century Atlantic Economy (MIT Press, 1999) and (with Timothy J. Hatton) Global Migration and the World Economy (MIT Press, 2005).


"In Global Migration and the World Economy Hatton and Williamson again combine their impressive skills as both historians and economists. In this masterful and well written analysis of international migration over the past two centuries, they use these skills to synthesize broad sweep and technical detail. It will provide the framework for understanding international migration for decades to come."
Barry R. Chiswick, University of Illinois at Chicago

"A truly magnificent book that covers the issues of migration with an economist's grasp of theory, a historian's grasp of fact and context, and a concerned citizen's sense of policy—all expressed in clear, clean prose. The best single volume on the economics and history of migration yet."
Lant Pritchett, Lead Socio-Economist, The World Bank