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The OECD has always been seen as a unique Forum for analytical work and for the exchange of views, experience and best practices in the field of economic and social aspects of migration. At the same time, a wider range of migration statistics have been developed and great effort spent to improve data comparability. For many decades, the Continuous Reporting System on Migration (SOPEMI), under the auspices of the OECD Working Party on Migration, has been the only such monitor of migration movements and policies. It has witnessed the boom and bust of "guestworker" migration, the tightening of migration policies in the 1980s as well as the changes after the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s and the renewal of interest in labour migration in the 2000s, before the 2008 financial crisis once again put more open migration policies in question. Demographic ageing and globalisation of the world economy pose many challenges to OECD countries in the field of migration. In this context, the OECD remains a privileged observatory of migration movements and policies and a platform for exchange on what works and what does not: a critical instrument to make the most out of international migration to support economic growth in both origin and destination countries.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011


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