Reverse Welfare Magnet

Income gap is widely accepted to be the single-most compelling factor that determines migration from developing to developed countries. It is driven by the income maximisation motive. Hence, conventional wisdom holds that economic development in developing countries should lead to lower migration. Interestingly, data also show that there is a considerable ‘welfare state’ gap between developing and developed countries. Using the argument of risk minimisation motive, would a narrower gap in social services provision help to manage migration from developing countries? This research provides empirical macro and micro evidence of the ‘reverse welfare magnet’ and the complexity on the effect of social policy on migration. It is argued that better welfare provision in developing countries could reduce migration through the risk minimisation channel.