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World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies

GS Paper 1

 Syllabus: Population and associated issues


Source: DTE

 Context: The World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies’ was recently released by the World Bank.


The World Development Report (WDR):

  • It is an annual report published since 1978 by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) or World Bank.
  • It provides an in-depth analysis of a specific aspect of economic development.


Highlights of the WDR 2023:

  • The share of working-age adults will drop sharply in many (developed) countries over the next few decades.
    • Spain, with a population of 47 million, is projected to shrink by more than one-third by 2100, with those above age 65 increasing from 20 to 39% of the population.
  • Most low-income countries are expected to see rapid population growth, putting them under pressure to create more jobs for young people.


Opportunities offered by migration:

  • Migration is becoming more urgent due to severe divergences between and within countries – in terms of real wages, labour market opportunities, demographic patterns and climate costs.
  • It can be a unique opportunity for economies and people as well as meet the growing needs of both origin and destination countries.
  • Migrants transfer ideas, knowledge, and technology, spurring job creation and modernisation – just as US Silicon Valley expatriates did when they helped nurture India’s IT sector.



  • As populations across the globe age at an unprecedented pace, the global competition for workers and talent will intensify.
  • About 184 million people worldwide (including 37 million refugees) lack citizenship in the country in which they live.



Recommendations to promote migration:

  • The WB proposed policies to harness economic opportunities and for better migration management in destination, transit and origin countries (to mitigate the risks that migrants face). For example,
    • Origin countries should make labour migration an explicit part of their development strategy.
    • Destination countries should facilitate their inclusion and address social impacts that raise concerns among their citizens
  • Match-Motive Framework: By combining “match” and “motive,” the framework identified policy priorities for countries.
    • The “match” aspect is grounded in labour economics and focuses on how well migrants’ skills and related attributes match the needs of the destination countries.
    • The “motive” refers to the circumstances under which a person moves in search of opportunity.
    • This determines the extent to which migrants, origin countries and destination countries gain from migration: The stronger the match, the larger the gains.
  • The report also urged for international cooperation and multilateral efforts to strengthen the match of migrants’ skills with the needs of destination societies.


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