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World Bank, Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa
2012-08-13T13:32:37Z | 2012-08-13T13:32:37Z | 2010-09

Increased labor mobility bears large potential benefits for human development and poverty reduction through various channels including more competitive global labor markets and increased efficiency in the matching of skills supply and demand. Bank support for enhanced and better managed migration can complement broader efforts to reduce poverty and promote human development, similarly to how Bank projects on trade liberalization have helped in reducing market distortions and raise welfare. With Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries becoming increasingly eager to adopt a proactive approach to improve migration outcomes, cross-sectoral Bank teams are well positioned to respond to increasing demand for migration management systems. Labor mobility has proven to be a forceful driver of convergence in living standards. Estimates suggest that gains from the liberalization of migration could surpass welfare gains from trade liberalization. Currently, migration represents the main form of global and regional integration for MENA countries. In the future, increased labor mobility could foster regional economic integration, a recognized priority within the Arab World Initiative (AWI).

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