This paper examines the relationship between the number and rights of low-skilled migrant workers in high-income countries. It identifies a trade-off: Countries with large numbers of low-skilled migrant workers offer them relatively few rights, while smaller numbers of migrants are typically associated with more rights. We discuss the number-vs.-rights trade-off in theory and practice as an example of competing goods, raising the question of whether numbers of migrants or rights of migrants should get higher priority. There is no easy or universal answer, but avoiding an explicit discussion of the issue – as has been done in recent guest worker debates – can obscure an important policy choice.
Ruhs, M. and Martin, P. (2008) ‘Numbers vs. Rights: Trade-Offs and Guest Worker Programs’, International Migration Review, 42(1): 249-265
COMPAS, School of Anthropology, University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS
T. +44 (0)1865 274 711
Privacy | Terms & Conditions | Copyrights | Accessibility
©2023 University of Oxford
Managed by REDBOT