The idea that aid and development slow migration is wrong

Up to a point, they seem to have the opposite effect

When the number of irregular migrants crossing into Europe spiked in 2015, policymakers scrambled to stem the flow. One of the more humane ideas they latched onto was an old one: to slow migration by targeting its “root causes”. Growth and opportunity at home, the thinking went, would dull people’s enthusiasm to up sticks. So the European Union set up a multi-billion-euro trust fund for Africa. And indeed, irregular migration to Europe, while still a big issue, has fallen considerably from its peak five years ago.

However, the extra aid probably had little to do with that drop. A handful of new studies suggest that neither aid nor economic development in poor countries reduces migration.

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