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Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195398656
ISBN-10: 0195398653
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Paul Collier is one of the world's most thoughtful economists. His books consistently illuminate and provoke. Exodus is no exception." --The Economist


"Magisterial. Paul Collier offers a comprehensive, incisive, and well-written balance sheet of the pros and cons of immigration for receiving societies, sending societies, and migrants themselves. For everyone on every side of this contentious issue, Exodus is a must-read." --Robert Putnam, Malkin Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University, and author of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community


"Paul Collier has done it again. Exodus is his latest effort to subject taboo topics to straightforward questions that most other scholars shrink from asking. This time Collier considers the effects of migration on the departing peoples' new homes, their old homes, and the emigrants themselves. Collier's framework for thinking about the topic is valuable; his explanation of past research is insightful; and his agenda for further studies displays his aptitude for considering big topics while pressing for detailed research. Moreover, he courageously interconnects different fields of scholarship-addressing problems that don't fit neatly into academic categories. This book is a true achievement." --Robert B. Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank Group, U.S. Trade Representative, and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State


"At a time when debate over immigration policy is polarizing public opinion, there could be no better guide to the issues involved than Paul Collier. He is lucid, undogmatic, convinced of the potential benefits of immigration but aware that these benefits can be put at risk if the process is managed indiscriminately or thoughtlessly. This important book will not end the debate but will help steer it." --Paul Seabright, Toulouse School of Economics and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse


"An economist and expert on the world's poorest populations analyzes who migrates, why and the effects on host societies...Valuable reading for policymakers." --Kirkus


--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author


Paul Collier, CBE is a Professor of Economics, Director for the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Antony's College. He is the author of The Plundered Planet; Wars, Guns, and Votes; and The Bottom Billion, winner of Estoril Distinguished Book Prize, the Arthur Ross Book Award, and the Lionel Gelber Prize.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195398653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195398656
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an extremely insightful book on the subject. Paul Collier conveys this is a complex subject ill fitted to the simple binomial outcomes (yes it is good; no it is bad) adopted by the media, politicians, business lobbyists, and even economists. The issue is not whether migration is good or bad but what is the optimal rate of migration for a specific country. He makes a case that there is an optimal migration level or rate. And, if we leave migration to itself, it will exceed the optimal level and eventually hurt.

The social effects of migration follow an inverse-U shape, with gains from moderate migration and losses from high migration. Moderate migration is liable to confer overall social benefits, whereas sustained rapid migration would risk substantial costs. Also, a low-density country such as Canada and Australia can accommodate a far greater rate of migration than high-density countries such as Western European ones.

Moderate migration has modestly positive economic effects on the indigenous population in the medium term. Any long-term effects are negligible. In contrast, sustained rapid migration lowers the living standard of the indigenous population, both through wage effect and due to the need to share scarce public capital.

Collier builds an elegant model that explains the rate of migration from one country to another. The rate of migration is determined by: 1) the width of the income gap (the wider it is the faster the migration rate from the low-income to high-income country); 2) the level of income in country of origin (the lower the income the higher the emigration rate); and 3) the size of the diaspora in the host country (the larger the diaspora the higher the immigration rate into the host country).
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Format: Paperback
I find it very strange that I should be the first to review a book published in 2013. This is not only strange but also very unfortunate since this book should be on every politicians desk and read by everyone who has a view on migration. Why? Because Professor Collier manages to in under 300 pages tell us where we are in the scientific world on the very important subject of migration. Today in 2015 Europe is in a crisis mode and are desperately trying to handle a flood of refugees and migrants and it is not going well. Had people in power read this book in 2013 it is quite possible that we would have been in a far better managed situation than we are in today.

The Question of migration is a political mine-field and there are few subjects that will engage citizens as much as when it is not handled well. The Rise of fringe political parties in Europe but also elsewhere is one of the signs of this. Paul Collier manages to guide us through this mine-field without stepping an any holy toes and gives us a structure for how to discuss this issue. I don't think that I have ever made so many notes from a book as I have done from this one.

For a social science book it is very well written and an easy read. Almost all aspects on migration are dealt with possibly one exception. I would have liked to see a discussion on regional differences. Having talked to a number of people working in the migration receiving end you will almost all the time hear what a difference there is to receive migrants from different countries or cultures. The Approach to deal with them differs a lot depending on who they are.

Reading the book you also realize how few outside of the science community that really has facts behind there views. Migration is a question that is 90 % political and just 10 % based on facts. This book could fix that. But you have to read it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Despite a mostly UK-centric narrative, this dense (but succinct) treatment of migration - mostly framed in the context of migration's impact on the host, migrant and the society of origin - provides an excellent review and critique of socio-economic theories/philosophies that have shaped views on immigration. Collier methodically explains the key factors that are likely to influence the migration rate and then starts delineating the impact on
all parties concerned. The discussion around the impact of the size of diaspora, assimilative tendencies and income gap differentials are interesting and provide a reasonable framework to think about motives than rely on politician/media-created generalisms that tend to appeal to emotions than reason. Throughout the book, Collier manages to provide a mostly impartial and consistent view of migration and its effect before making a strong ethical case for why a society can (and should) control migration.

Collier's examples typically refer to the low-skill migration and his views on high-skill migration is nuanced and guided more by ethical arguments than utilitarian arguments (the very same ones he seemed to use to rationalize low-skill migration). Readers of a particular political persuasion can of course find cherrypick some observations to justify their view, but the relatively reduced focus on high-skill migration is an opportunity lost to add more clarity to the discussion. While much has been written on IT sector in the US, the medical skill migration to UK (and US) poses ethical and economic arguments far more pronounced than any other high-skill sector. Collier could have devoted more space to address high-skill migration.
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