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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well reasoned and very readable
This is a well reasoned exploration of the intentions of immigration and immigration policy and of some of the unintended consequences of the decisions taken by governments and indeed by migrants and their families.

Looking at the effects of immigration on host populations, for migrants, and for those left behind, the author, Paul Collier, has succeeded in...
Published 7 months ago by markr

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly superficial
The book contains some good ideas, written in clear language but, unfortunately, all by all a bit superficial .
Published 23 days ago by Ton van Naerssen


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well reasoned and very readable, 17 Feb 2014
By 
markr - See all my reviews
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This is a well reasoned exploration of the intentions of immigration and immigration policy and of some of the unintended consequences of the decisions taken by governments and indeed by migrants and their families.

Looking at the effects of immigration on host populations, for migrants, and for those left behind, the author, Paul Collier, has succeeded in providing a very readable account which stays away from the extremes of liberal or conservative mind sets, and provides good evidence throughout to substantiate his arguments.

Supplemented and illuminated by easy to follow graphs, this is a book to make you think, and to challenge some of the packages of beliefs held by many of us on this emotive issue.

It certainly made me challenge some of my assumptions about the ethics and effects of immigration, and to reconsider some of what I had previously held to be self evident truths, and to remember that the goldilocks principle of moderation really does apply to most things.

Very interesting and thought provoking
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some sane and clear-minded analysis, 4 Jan 2014
By 
B. Sebastien "Globetrotter" (Africa) - See all my reviews
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In a debate that is unhelpfully shrill and ideological on both sides, Collier takes a refreshingly cear-headed and objective path, walking his reader through the theory and empirical evidence to arrive at a few broad conclusions. In short, while immigration from the very poor, dysfunctional countries of the Bottom Billion to rich, successful countries is a huge economic boon for the migrants themselves and modestly beneficial to the receiving societies and economies too, the social and political costs are getting higher and higher as diaspora communities get larger and larger, and popular hostility among the indigenous population grows, jeopardising the high levels of mutual social trust and regard that made the complex cooperationn systems that advanced countries have put in place over time possible. Collier also looks at the cost to the countries of origin, who are losing many of their most qualified, enterprising and productive citizens.

The ideology of "Multiculturalism", which encourages migrants to keep their own cultures instead of assimilating to the host country's, exacerbates problems since it delays the assimilation process necessary to ensure their integration into the economy and society and undermines the high levels of mutual acceptance and trust welfare states require. He also questions the wisdom of encouraging migrants to hold on to social models that are in large part responsible for the dysfunctional societies they fled in the first place.

Given that on current trends and with the current policies in place, this migration is only going to accelerate in the years to come, Collier makes a convincing case that the flows have to be more tightly regulated in Europe than is the case today if we are to preserve our welfare states and ensure the acceptance, integration and success of the migrants already here.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful study of the effects on Britain of immigration, 7 Jan 2014
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. In this important book, he asks, how much migration is best for Britain?

There were 92 million immigrants in 1960, 165 million in 2000. Migration from the rich world to the poor world fell, as did migration from Europe to the USA. The big change was migration from the poor world to the rich - from under 20 million to more than 60 million. The increase accelerated decade by decade.

He notes that immigration's "social effects are usually likely to trump economic effects, in part because the economic effects are usually modest. For the neediest sections among the indigenous population the net effects of migration are often probably negative."

As he points out, "What is good for business is not necessarily good for indigenous people. The short-term interest of business is for the open door: it is cheaper to recruit already-skilled migrants than to train indigenous youth, and the pool of talent will be wider when the door is more open. It is in the interest of the indigenous population to force firms that want to benefit from the country's social model to train its youth and hire its workers. Germany stands as testimony that such a policy need not drive business abroad."

Collier states, "migration can be excessive. I show that, left to itself, migration will keep accelerating, so that it is liable to become excessive."

He explains, "left to the decentralized decisions of potential migrants, migration accelerates until low-income countries are substantially depopulated. The acceleration principle follows from two indisputable features of migration. One is that for a given income gap, the larger is the diaspora, the easier and hence more rapid is migration. ... The other indisputable feature is that migration has only small, and indeed ambiguous, feedback effects on the income gap."

He warns, "without effective controls migration would rapidly accelerate to the point at which additional migration would have adverse effects, both on the indigenous populations of host societies and on those left behind in the poorest countries. ... continued accelerated migration would drive wages down for indigenous workers and seriously dilute public goods." He avers, "Only from the wilder shores of libertarianism and utilitarianism can it be argued that migration controls are ethically illegitimate."

Collier praises the nation as a form of civilising collectivism, observing, "national identity ... is enormously important as a force for equity." Nations can be forces for good: "A shared sense of nationhood need not imply aggression; rather it is a practical means of establishing fraternity." So, "nationalism and internationalism need not be alternatives."
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An original and solidly reasoned approach, 25 Oct 2013
By 
Morten Lintrup "morlin" (Frederikssund, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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An original and solidly reasoned approach to an intractable problem. Having read Bottom Billion and Plundered Planet, my expactations were high, and I was not disappointed. Conceivably the best and most important social sciences book to appear in 2013. Date-of-Issue coincided with my first ever visit to the southern hemisphere. So, it became my first iBook and it was a great inflight read. Before returning home today, I also ordered a hardcover copy, which I am eagerly awaiting to reread and be better able to add my own notes within, as I am used to.

The main merit of the book is that it presents a coherent framework in a fairly simple and accessible manner of an issue where science is usually at least as prejudiced or schewed as politics. While tracing fundamentals of immigration policy issues back to fundamental economic principles, the author still acknowledges that migration should not be taken primarily as an economic issue. In broadening the view to include ethics, the author also backtrace to basic principles instead of just the usual and lazy approach of confusing ethics with current legal interpretations of UN or EU Human Rights declarations in dogmatic form. That leads to some pretty surprising results, convincingly argued, e.g. about host countries' right (even responsibility, perhaps), to halt diaspora chain migration as we know it today.

That being said, while the presented framework is coherent, it is by no means complete - it raises a lot of unanswered questions along the way - and it makes no claims to the contrary. Only, one must hope it will make the basis for such discussion much better informed and constructive than is usual at present - if only prejudiced experts and politicians will bother to read the book and internalize the solid theories and observations presented.

For me the main limitations and loose ends are :
- the author appears to me overly optimistic about "progress", history as a linear development where enlightenment inevitably prevails
- repeated statements that Australia is underpopulated are puzzling to me, considering what I have read about ecology and shortage of water there. (No argument is given, but good references, so it is just for me to look it up!) Still, it is also recognized and solidly argued that any country, Australia included, is morally entitled to be largely selective of immigrants and should not be given to accept desperados and tricksters in leaky boats. Great credits for that.
- likewise it is stated flatly, that e.g. Bangladesh is overpopulated. I can only agree with that, and believe there are several more, perhaps less obvious such examples. However, the book attempts no discussion of what is the appropriate response (realistic and morally defensible) of "the outside world" to a country already overpopulated by people in denial of the situation - and intent on producing yet more people.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A calm analytic approach to a policy area most find too challenging to discuss, 8 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Kindle Edition)
Paul Collier has devoted his professional life to understanding why the poorest billion on this planet remain in abject poverty. He is clearly motivated to find solutions through economic and other forms of policy analysis.

The result is a thorough indictment of the last 50 years of British immigration policy. His balanced analysis repudiates those who want open door migration as it is not in the interests of either host or sending countries. He also gives a reasoned dismissal of the mindless advocacy of multicultural policies that have been raised to a status in recent times that no political party can challenge.

It should be compulsory reading for all politicians with migration as part of their responsibility and those government analysts who have been responsible for the half baked analyses underlying the migration policy mistakes in recent times.

Paul Collier openly says he is giving examples rather than thorough empirical evidence and he knows this is an area that needs much further empirical investigation. Many of you will find some of the illustrative material easy to challenge but this should not distract from the importance of the analytic framework he sets out. This framework is necessary if we are to have a migration policy fit for purpose.

David Stanton
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly superficial, 25 Aug 2014
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The book contains some good ideas, written in clear language but, unfortunately, all by all a bit superficial .
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars migration,economics and politics, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Exodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (Kindle Edition)
Best book on migration.Distills the true economic and social costs of mass migration.Every politician should read it.His suggestion is that moderate migration is good for host and recipient country.Migration watch and UKIP seem to say the same thing,yet in the mass media they are seen as racist
With simple to understand diagrams the good professor looks at all the options and their consequences,and gives workable solutions to this most notty of problems.Buy this book and you will have the knowledge to evaluate debates on migration which often become polarised.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be read by all policy makers., 13 Nov 2013
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Collier tells us the truth about immigration which emerges from research which he skilfully draws together. Politicians will never have the courage to act on these findings which show why some diaspora in the UK succeed while others fail and show a high level of criminality. And inferences can be drawn from Collier as to why there is a higher incidence of cases of professional misconduct among doctors from Asia and Africa working in this country than among UK born doctors.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very important book, 1 Jan 2014
By 
Gordon Eldridge (Brussels, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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The beauty of this book is Collier's clear thinking. Where most people are questioning whether migration is 'good or bad', Collier realises that the real question is more about how much migration is good and whether it should be allowed to increase. This is what future policy should be based on. Collier examines the research into both the economic and social implications of migration. He looks at these from the perspective of all relevant stakeholders, the migrants themselves, the receiving societies, the societies the migrants are leaving and the people left behind who did not or could not migrate. He also examines the varying impacts on relatively larger or smaller countries, more densely or less densely populated countries and poorer or richer countries. Collier brings to bear relevant and very up-to-date research to support his arguments, but also relates numerous fascinating examples and anecdotes to allow the reader to contextualise the information and arguments he is presenting. He ends the book with some eminently sensible policy recommendations, which politicians would do well to take into account. Overall the book is extremely important. I am a teacher and have been reading widely to prepare a unit on migration for my students. Of all that I have read, this book has been by far the most informative in terms of understanding the impact of migration.
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile - but last chapter has a serious problem., 29 Nov 2013
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A readable and convincing analysis of a huge subject which is only now being discussed, for obvious reasons. It has well-argued conclusions and recommendations.

The difficulty I have is the author's complete acceptance of the "problem" of climate change. Any sceptics reading this will know that the wheels are coming of that particular hobbyhorse quite rapidly. His complete acceptance of this extremely dodgy area of science is worrying. As an analogy in the debate over multiculturalism it does have some merit, though perhaps not in the way the author suggests. In recent years both the measures to "combat climate change" and to impose multiculturalism on reluctant populations can both be seen as the actions of elites acting in their own self-interest.
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