Growth and the Migration Factor

By Brigitte Granville* – Project Syndicate


Wars and natural disasters have always forced people to cross political borders to seek safety and a better life. But whether they are well-received when they reach their destination depends on a confluence of political, social, economic, and geographic factors.

LONDON – Forced to choose a single factor driving the development of human societies, students of world history would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than migration. In The Unsettling of Europe, the University of Manchester historian Peter Gatrell suggests that the periods when societies have not been “unsettled” by migration are even shorter and rarer than the intervals between wars. Of course war itself…..

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*Brigitte Granville is Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London, and the author of What Ails France

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