Column: Economics of going places: let them come
They are also the people who gave us the execrable ‘Human Development Index’ that values a year of life (not earning capacity—value of a life) of a Norwegian at over 80 times that of someone in Niger, an American 16 times more valuable than an Indian. How they get away with, and even get accolades for this obscenity is beyond me.
However this year is different (except for maintaining the index). This year’s topic is migration—internal and international —and gets everything important pretty much right. The report comes out courageously for encouraging more migration of both sorts and does a good job refuting many of the objections of those in both the recipient and originating countries.
Just as freedom of movement of commodities via trade potentially benefits all, so does freedom of movement of people. The report might underplay a few genuine concerns for advocacy purposes but this is a minor problem on economic and wellbeing grounds. It may be a bit more serious on political grounds.
For India, there are three big lessons to take away. One is familiar ground and much less contentious than it used to be —that the ‘brain
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