International Handbook on the Economics of Migration
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International Handbook on the Economics of Migration

Edited by Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Migration economics is a dynamic, fast-growing research area with significant and rising policy relevance. While its scope is continually extending, there is no authoritative treatment of its various branches in one volume. Written by 44 leading experts in the field, this carefully commissioned and refereed Handbook brings together 28 state-of-the-art chapters on migration research and related issues.
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Chapter 3: The economics of circular migration

Amelie F. Constant, Olga Nottmeyer and Klaus F. Zimmermann


The economics of migration literature saw an increasing interest in circular or repeat migration in the past two decades. At the same time, more and more programs concerning circular, revolving-door or ‘va-et-vient’ migration started sprouting. By the year2003 about 176 bilateral labor agreements had been signed among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries alone (Newland et al., 2008). The importance of circular migration is underscored in the September 2005communiqué on migration and development of the European Commission. The benefits of this labor movement ‘back and forth’ between the home and host countries as well as labor movements involving third countries are listed in the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM), the International Organization for Migration (IOM),the World Bank, the European Commission and the House of Commons International Development Committee. The emerging importance of circular migration comes from its potential benefits to all countries involved in migration – be it the home or sending country, the host or receiving country or a third country, as well as to the migrants themselves.

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