That growth, jobs, and development in poor countries will reduce incentives to migrate to rich countries seems to make intuitive sense. Unfortunately, the empirical evidence is more nuanced. At low levels of per-capita income, development increases out-migration. Only after a country reaches about $5,000 per capita income (in PPP terms), about the level of Jordan or Jamaica, does the relationship turn negative.
Two of the more vexing problems in development are: (i) how low-income countries, particularly in Africa, can industrialize, creating jobs for their young populations; and (ii) how governments everywhere can be more effective. I was pleased therefore to see an important book on each published recently (confession: many of the authors are good friends of mine). One is Made in Africa: Learning to Compete in Industry, a masterful blend of econometrics, case studies and qualitative research. The second is Building State Capability by Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock, a book that distills and makes practical the ideas that this trio has been developing over the years. Duncan Green reviews the second book on his blog.
If you’re having trouble finishing your book (or paper), you might check out Raul Pacheco’s top ten tips on academic writing.