Development on the Move: Measuring and Optimising Migration’s Economic and Social Impacts in Colombia

Andrés Trejos, Carlos Medina, and Mauricio Cárdenas
Mauricio Cárdenas
Mauricio Cárdenas Visiting Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy - Colombia University, Former Minister of Finance and Public Credit - Republic of Colombia, Former Brookings Expert

April 30, 2010

Executive Summary

Although Colombia has only become a major sender and recipient of international migrants relatively recently, migration and remittances have become important issues for policymakers. According to various sources, around 8 per cent of Colombians live abroad, primarily in the United States, Spain and Venezuela. Meanwhile, remittances currently constitute 3 per cent of Colombia’s GDP (as of 2008), up from just 1 per cent a decade before.

These trends have generated an increasing interest in the causes and consequences of international migration in Colombia, despite a lack of comprehensive information about the characteristics of migrants and their patterns of movement. This report therefore aims to fill some of the gaps in the evidence base by providing the first dataset on migration and development in Colombia, and by using robust econometric methodologies to assess a range of economic and social impacts that migration appears to be having on individuals and households left behind. It then interprets these findings to draw out some key recommendations for policymakers.

Read the entire paper at the Global Development Network web site »