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 13: Growth in forced displacement: cross-country, sub-national and household evidence on potential determinants

Ana María Ibáñez


In the past two decades, forced displacement has grown significantly. This rising trend is the result of the onset or persistence of civil wars, tighter borders to prevent flows of refugees, and protracted violence against civilians. This chapter reviews the literature on the causes of forced displacement. It discusses those aspects of civil conflict that may produce forced displacement, the role of economic factors, the deliberate decisions of armed actors to target civilians, and the decisions of people and households to migrate amid conflict. Evidence suggests that violence is strongly correlated with forced displacement, yet economic factors also play a non-negligible role. Despite facing intense violence, people and households have agency. In deciding whether to migrate, they weigh the net benefits of the various alternatives. Because the literature is nascent, the potential for future research is great.

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