Working Paper
Cross-Border Movements of People

This paper sketches a profile of international labour migration over the past fifty years and draws a distinction between different categories of labour flows in the contemporary world economy. It examines the underlying factors with an emphasis on structural determinants at a macrolevel.

It explains why the gathering momentum of globalization has coincided with a discernible slowdown in migration during the last quarter of twentieth century, to analyse how globalization might influence emigration pressures on the supply side and immigration needs on the demand side. It argues that globalization has set in motion forces which are creating a demand for labour mobility across borders, as also developing institutions on the supply side to meet this demand.

The future prospects are also bound to be shaped by demographic change and population imbalances, arising in particular from the ageing of industrial societies. In conclusion, the paper suggests that the time has come to reflect upon the necessity of formulating international rules or creating international institutions for the governance of cross-border movements of people.