by Zoë Pollock
David McKenzie explains why the the most effective way to raise the income of people in poor countries isn't microfinance, or conditional cash transfers. It's facilitating international migration. He and John Gibson looked at the development impacts of New Zealand’s new seasonal worker program, the RSE:
In addition to estimating per-capita income gains of 30-40%, we find that participating in the RSE leads to greater subjective well-being, more durable asset purchases, housing improvements, and in Tonga, a large increase in secondary schooling. Moreover, as a recent evaluation by New Zealand’s labor department found, these gains came with minimal displacement of native workers, and overstay rates of less than 1%.