Title: International migration and the reproduction of multiple inequalities

Authors: Alex Julca

Addresses: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Development Policy and Analysis Division, UN Plaza 2, DC2 2084, New York, NY 10017, USA

Abstract: International labour migration is at the centre of the reproduction of economic inequality. Firstly, low wages and insecure employment characterise labour markets in countries of origin. An increasingly service-oriented global economy has heightened these trends, with highly skilled labour in a few careers, e.g., business administration, computer systems, being more employable than the rest. Secondly, migrants use costly informal means and networks to arrive at countries of destination, where they recreate a lower-third tier in the labour force. Labour conditions and wages are often below legally established norms, while disenfranchised status and precariousness of living conditions further segregate immigrants. Border walls are built to seal North-South inequalities. Thirdly, immigrant remittances serve to reproduce inequalities: a) at the community level, by diverging the fate of the receivers from the non-receivers; b) at the national level, by feeding liquidity into a system with uneven-access to finance and production; c) at the fiscal level, by making governments addicted to foreign exchange.

Keywords: international migration; precariousness; economic insecurity; economic inequality; labour segmentation; migration controls; reserve army of labour; multiple inequalities; low wages; insecure employment; service-oriented global economy; immigrants; disenfranchised.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2012.047206

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2012 Vol.6 No.1/2, pp.45 - 58

Available online: 03 Jun 2012 *

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