Chapter

High-Skilled Labour Migration

Alexander Betts and Lucie Cerna

in Global Migration Governance

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199600458
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191723544 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600458.003.0003
High-Skilled Labour Migration

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This chapter examines the global governance of high-skilled labour migration. Firstly, it argues that global governance in this area is predominantly characterized by unilateralism and bilateralism, and that the institutional framework that exists at the multilateral level (in the form of the WTO's GATS Mode 4 and the Global Forum on Migration and Development) is a ‘facilitative’ form of multilateralism. Secondly, it explains the predominance of this level of governance by drawing upon global public goods theory to argue that, unlike many other areas of migration, the costs and benefits of high-skilled labour migration are largely confined to the sending state, the receiving state, and the migrant. Rather than being conceived as a global public good, the governance of high-skilled migration is likely to be a private good, implying that one would expect unilateralism and bilateralism rather than multilateralism. Thirdly, it argues that, on a normative level, an efficiency case cannot be used to support binding multilateralism but might support the development of facilitative multilateralism to improve bilateral partnerships.

Keywords: high-skilled labour migration; WTO; GATS Mode 4; GFMD; global public goods theory; facilitative multilateralism; private good; efficiency; equity

Chapter.  8009 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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