Handbook on Migration and Social Policy
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Handbook on Migration and Social Policy

Edited by Gary P. Freeman and Nikola Mirilovic

In this detailed Handbook, an interdisciplinary team of scholars explores the consequences of migration for the social policies of rich welfare states. They test conflicting claims as to the positive and negative effects of different types of migration against the experience of countries in Europe, North America, Australasia, the Middle East and South Asia. The chapters assess arguments as to migration’s impact on the financial, social and political stability of social programs. The volume includes comprehensive reviews of existing scholarship as well as state of the art original empirical analysis.
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Chapter 5: Goods versus people: immigration and trade policy in a globalized world

Margaret E. Peters


Globalization is a fact of life in the modern world economy, but what do we mean by globalization? Today, globalization means lower trade barriers, fewer restrictions on capital and off-shoring of production. Yet barriers to immigration, especially for low-skill immigrants, have increased in most developed nations since at least the early 1970s and are much more restrictive than they were in the nineteenth century. Starting in 1879, when most countries adopted the Gold Standard and ending in 1914 with the start of World War I, this earlier era of globalization was characterized by the relatively free movement of people as well as capital and goods. As Hatton and Williamson (1998) note, this was the era of mass migration. It was during this time that tens of millions of Europeans moved to the New World. There were also large-scale migrations within Europe: from Ireland to England, from Southern Europe and Poland to France and from Poland to Germany (Ferenczi and Willcox, 1929). But it was not just Europeans on the move; millions of people from China, India, Japan and Asia moved to the New World, Africa and within Asia.

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