International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development
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International Handbook on Migration and Economic Development

Edited by Robert E.B. Lucas

This Handbook summarizes the state of thinking and presents new evidence on various links between international migration and economic development, with particular reference to lower-income countries. The connections between trade, aid and migration are critically examined through global case studies.
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Chapter 8: Southern hub: the globalization of migration to South Africa

Jonathan Crush


The two main forms of migration to South Africa during the apartheid period – immigration from Europe and migrant labour from neighbouring states – have experienced consistent decline since 1990. At the same time, the numbers of foreign-born people in South Africa have continually increased, reaching over 2 million in 2011. To explain this apparent anomaly, this chapter examines various new forms of migration to South Africa that are generally associated with the globalization of population mobility. These include greatly increased general cross-border movement, skilled migration, forced migration, irregular migration and migration from crisis-states (especially Zimbabwe). The chapter uses various data sources to map these movements and then examines the South African policy response to each. The South African citizenry and state are ambiguous, at best, about these new forms of migration and have yet to develop policies that would maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of globalized migration to this Southern hub.

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