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Migration and development, economic growth, aid effectiveness, economic history
Michael Clemens is co-director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he studies the economic effects and causes of migration around the world. He has published on migration, development, economic history, and impact evaluation, in peer-reviewed academic journals including the American Economic Review, and his research has been awarded the Royal Economic Society Prize. He also serves as a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Population Economics and World Development. He is the author of the book The Walls of Nations, forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Previously, Clemens has been an Affiliated Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University, a visiting scholar at New York University, and a consultant for the World Bank, Bain & Co., the Environmental Defense Fund, and the United Nations Development Program. He has lived and worked in Colombia, Brazil, and Turkey. He received his PhD from the Department of Economics at Harvard University, specializing in economic development, public finance, and economic history.
Abstract: This paper examines how US military aid affects political violence and democracy in Colombia. Since military aid is channeled to particular Colombian army brigades operating out of government military bases, we compare how changes in aid affect violence and elections outcomes in municipalities with and without bases. To address potential endogeneity in the timing of aid, we use an instrument based on U.S. military aid to the rest of the world (excluding Latin America). We find that increases in US military lead to differential increases in attacks by paramilitaries (who are aligned with the government), but have no significant effect on attacks by guerillas. The aid shock also results in more paramilitary political assassinations during election periods, but has no significant effect on guerilla assassinations. Finally, increases in aid reduce voter turnout in base municipalities, and these effects are larger in politically contested areas. The results suggest that foreign military aid may strengthen the capacity of armed non-state actors, undermining domestic political institutions.
As the Obama Administration begins to consider the key issues of U.S. immigration reform this summer, the Center for Global Development (CGD) and the Center for International Development at Harvard University convened a research conference on May 26, 2009 with thought leaders from Harvard University, CGD, the University of Chicago, and the World Bank, among others, to offer groundbreaking insights into the links between migration, remittances and prosperity. They were joined by leading voices from the policy community who offered new perspectives on the politics and possibilities of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.
Commission on International Migration Data for Development Research and Policy
In this CGD report, the Commission on International Migration Data for Development Research and Policy presents their five recommendations to remedy the lack of good data on migration and its effects on development. The recommendations are politically and technically practical and would allow countries to greatly improve their migration data at low cost, and with existing mechanisms. The first step: ask basic census questions and make the data publicly available.