Event type

Crossing the Divide: Rural to Urban Migration in Developing Economies

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM EST
Event description

The World Bank, KNOMAD, and the Migration and Remittances Unit of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice had organized a virtual launch of Robert E. B. Lucas' newly released book: Crossing the Divide- Rural to Urban Migration in Developing Countries. 

Watch a recording of Robert Lucas discussing his new research on migration and reviews from the panelists here.

About the book:

Crossing the DivideA comprehensive examination of the nature, causes, and consequences of internal migration in developing countries. Despite the key role of rural-urban migration in structural transformation and the persistence of lower living standards in the countryside, active policies to reduce, or even reverse, movement into towns are common in major developing regions. Climate change is shifting the calculus: the resulting erosion to agricultural opportunities, combined with the increasing frequency of natural disasters, is already resulting in substantial population displacement, mostly internally and into towns in particular. Copies of the book are now available for purchase at Oxford University Press and other online retailers.


Introduction and moderator

Dilip Ratha |Head of KNOMAD

Author presentation

Robert E. B. Lucas |Professor, Boston University


Susan Martin |Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration, Georgetown University

Vegard Iversen |Professor, University of Greenwich

S. Irudaya Rajan |Chair, International Institute of   Migration and Development, Chair, International Migration and Urbanization Thematic Group of KNOMAD, and Former Professor, Center for Development Studies, Kerela

Speaker's Bio

Robert LucasProfessor Robert E.B. Lucas’s research has focused largely, though not exclusively, on developing countries. Most of the contributions are empirical with a few theory papers, encompassing international and internal migration, employment and human resources, income distribution and inter-generational inequality, international trade and industry, sharecropping, and the environment. External service has involved being Chief Technical Adviser to the Malaysia Human Resource Development Program, a member of the Advisory Committee to the India-US Business Council, the Delegation to India by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the G8 Global Remittances Working Group, the Steering Committee for the Global Research Competition of the Global Development Network, and as Chair of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration. A recipient of a Kennedy Scholarship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Chanan Yavor Prize for the best paper in development economics, and the Gitner Prize for excellence in teaching (twice). Professor Lucas has also worked with the World Bank, ADB, FAO, ILO, OECD, USAID, the Governments of Botswana, Bolivia, and Sweden, and is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies. His publications include seven books, the most recent of which are Migration and Development: The Role for Development Aid (2019) and Crossing the Divide: Rural to Urban Migration in Developing Countries (2021).

Dilip RathaDilip Ratha is the head of KNOMAD and lead economist, Migration and Remittances, Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank. In a career spanning three decades, he has done pioneering work on remittances, migration, and innovative financing (diaspora bonds, future-flow securitization, shadow sovereign ratings). His TED talk, with over 1.4 million views, has inspired many fintech start-ups. He is the Founder of KNOMAD, Migrating out of Poverty Research Program Consortium, and African Institute of Remittances. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Indian Statistical Institute.

Susan MartinSusan Martin is the Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  She was the founder and director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration. Prior to joining Georgetown’s faculty, Dr. Martin was the Executive Director of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, which was mandated by statute to advise the President and Congress on U.S. immigration and refugee policy. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Martin has authored or edited a dozen books and numerous articles and book chapters on international migration, refugees and internally displaced persons.

Vegard IversenVegard Iversen is a Professor of Development Economics and Head of the Livelihoods and Institutions Department (LID) at the Natural Resource Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, UK. He returned to UK academia in 2018 after 12 years of working in higher education institutions in India. His research has focused on children as (autonomous) migrants, on the role of intermediaries and social networks in facilitating rural-urban and other migration: more recent interests include the impacts of migration on upward mobility and how climate and conflict affects migration. He is a non-resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER, Helsinki and at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), New Delhi. He has published widely and received the annual Dudley Seers Prize for the best article in the Journal of Development Studies in 2008. 

S Irudaya RajanS. Irudaya Rajan is Chairman of the International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD), India, and Chair of the Thematic Working Group on Internal Migration and Urbanization in the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) of the World Bank. Earlier, he was Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, and Chair of the Research Unit on International Migration (RUIM) funded by the Government of India (2006-2016). Dr Rajan is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Migration and Development (Taylor and Francis) and the editor of two Routledge series - India Migration Report and South Asia Migration Report. He has published extensively in national and international journals on demographic, social, economic, political, and psychological implications of international migration. Professor Rajan has coordinated eight major large-scale migration surveys in Kerala since 1998 (with K C Zachariah), Goa (2008), Punjab (2009), Tamil Nadu (2015) and instrumental for Gujarat (2011).