Want More or Less Migration? Here’s What to Think About.

This is episode nine of our course Migration 101. In this course, we’ve teamed up with Hein de Haas, one of the field’s leading scholars, to tackle some of the most commonly asked questions related to migration. After watching his videos, you’ll have a fundamental understanding of the realities surrounding today’s debate on migrants and the refugee crisis. We recommend Migration 101 as a primer for other Migration Matters courses.

To receive the full series right to your inbox, sign up for this course on our website.


It’s no secret that receiving countries tend to favour (and actively recruit) high-skilled migrants over low-skilled migrants in their immigration policies. Yet, these same countries are often home to industries that depend on or even prefer low-skilled migrants. Can you really have both? Hein asks.

In this episode, Hein gets real about what we must consider before supporting further restrictions on our borders, providing examples of what could be at stake.

Recommended Reading

Why do we often like migrants but not immigration? The web-based polling firm YouGov explores in this article.

This research blog article explores the impact of restrictions to migration on the economy.

This post-US election opinion piece argues that we’ve entered a post-globalisation era, with flows of capital and people slowing. If migration is the outcome of domestic and global policies, is this really the conversation we should be having?

Development economist Michael Clemens explains why today’s migration crisis is an issue of global inequality – read or watch his analysis here.

According to the executive summary of this UN report, declining populations in the industrialised world presents migration as an opportunity for economic renewal.

Hein de Haas

Hein is Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He was a founding member and director of the International Migration Institute at the University of Oxford. He is a co-author of The Age of Migration, a leading textbook in the field of migration. You can find more information and free downloads of his publications on his website. He also maintains a blog – we recommend this entry titled “Human migration: myths, hysteria and facts“.

Sign up now for our newest course, A Migrant’s View, here. It’s a bit different than our other courses, focussing on both research about so-called “origin countries” (where migrants and refugees come from) and stories of arrival, waiting, and return. And don’t miss our next course on integration and diversity in Europe! Sign up here to receive the full series once it’s finished. 

What is Migration Matters?

Migration Matters was founded in January 2016 to address the public’s biggest conundrums and fears surrounding migration and the so-called refugee crisis.

Our free video-based courses break down commonly held preconceptions about migration and offer nuanced and solution-oriented perspectives from leading thinkers in the field: researchers, practitioners, as well as migrants and refugees themselves.

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