Exodus Book Summary By Paul Collier

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Exodus (2013) is an eye-opening book that sheds new light on one of the most pressing topics in our society today: migration.

Through this book you'll gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and complexities of migration, both for those that migrate, as well as for people who stay at home.

Whether it's positive or negative, explore how migration and immigration can shape—and reshape—our societies and economies.

By exploring this powerful topic through Exodus, you'll have tools to better understand the issues we're facing today.

Exodus Book Summary By Paul Collier

Book Name: Exodus (How Migration is Changing Our World)

Author(s): Paul Collier

Rating: 3.6/5

Reading Time: 18 Minutes

Categories: Economics

Author Bio

Paul Collier is a renowned name in the economic sphere, serving as professor and director of the Center for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University.

He is also the author of The Bottom Billion, which earned him fame as one of Forbes Magazine's top global thinkers.

In his book Exodus: How Migration Is Changing Our World, Paul Collier examines how migration is reshaping global economies in both positive and negative ways, making it an essential resource for anyone looking to gain a better understanding of this complex phenomenon.

Migration: An In-Depth Look At How The Movement Of People Impacts Countries And Cultures


Exodus offers readers a comprehensive look into how global migration really works and its impacts on society.

Migration has been occurring for millenniums, driving people to seek better economic and social conditions for themselves in other countries.

It’s become an essential topic of debate, not just in the US presidential primaries, but also in the political arenas of Europe and news outlets.

The book provides an abundance of insights allowing readers to get a deeper understanding of this complex issue.

In these sections, readers can find out why Tongan migrants were less happy in their new country than home; the positive economic impact migrants have on countries they move to; and how home countries can receive $400 billion from those abroad.

All of these facts combined helps us gain a well-rounded perspective on global migration and its implications.

The Complex Questions Surrounding Migration Require Careful Consideration

Migration has become a major issue in recent years, with more people moving across the globe than ever before.

There are all sorts of reasons why this is, ranging from income and living standard disparities to easier ways to travel and larger diasporas already residing in certain countries.

And yet, despite this increased migration pattern, few politicians want to discuss the issues surrounding it.

This could be due to the lack of data about worldwide migration or simply because the subject matter is complex and often fraught with ideological arguments.

Not only do policymakers have to consider who should get let into the country and why, but they also have to ponder moral dilemmas such as racism.

And then there’s the fact that poorer countries tend to suffer when many of their citizens leave for a better life elsewhere.

These are real questions facing many governments today and they’re not easy ones to answer.

To make matters worse, there’s still not much data on global migration patterns, making it even harder for politicians and researchers alike to gain an accurate understanding of what is really going on.

As such, it’s no wonder so few politicians want to talk about these difficult topics publicly.

The Key To A Successful Migration Experience: Mutual Regard Between Host Population And Migrants

Migrants have a huge impact on the social landscape of their host country.

Depending on the speed at which they arrive, migrants can either be quickly embraced and included into the local population or create tension between locals and newcomers.

A massive influx of migrants may put strain on the existing social environment, resulting in hostility towards the new arrivals whereas when migration is low and steady, people are more likely to be welcomed into society with open arms.

Additionally, a larger diaspora community can lead to reduced integration into local customs and values as migrants start to build networks amongst each other.

On the other hand, with a smaller but stable influx of immigrants, more of them will blend in with local culture due to respect for national history and trust that exists between citizens of a successful nation.

This trust and cooperation lead to mutual regard in which individuals sympathize and support one another as they seek stability in their newly adopted home.

In this way, migrants can not only provide economic benefits but also help bridge gaps between cultures when properly integrated into an existing society.

The Economic Impact Of Migration Is Not Black And White—Both Supporters And Critics Have Merit

Economic Impact

It’s an indisputable fact that migration has an economic effect on the new host countries.

On one hand, it can result in issues such as increased housing prices or greater strain on social services due to a large influx of immigrants.

For example, in Great Britain, housing prices have risen by over ten percent due to migration in a short period of time.

Furthermore, migrants tend to settle in places where they can find open job niches, making it harder for the local low-income population to compete with them for housing.

On the other side of things though, there are many potential benefits to migration.

According to economist F.

Docquier’s 2010 study, native workers often actually stand to gain from highly skilled immigrant workers entering their country and even the productivity and skills of less-skilled workers can be improved by immigration.

In addition, many immigrants arrive with their own wealth and educated backgrounds and enter new better paying jobs which will result in higher tax rates for the host country.

All said and done, there is evidence that points towards long-term benefits that often outweigh any potential short-term struggles caused by immigration.

The Economic Benefits Of Migration: Leveraging Existing Structures For Increased Progress

Migrating to a new country can be an incredibly rewarding decision for many people.

Not only do they gain access to a better quality of life, they also have the opportunity to take advantage of the social and economic systems in their host country.

By entering a system where there is less risk of becoming preyed upon by oppressive outside forces, these migrants are able to make investments in their own business that may have been impossible before.

This opens up a greater monetary reward for them than what would otherwise be available in their home country.

Additionally, workers’ rights and protections in rich countries can ensure that their labor is compensated fairly, helping them improve their standard of living.

In short, moving to a new country can be beneficial to migrants both economically and socially.

They are able to prosper in a stable environment while taking advantage of prosperous job opportunities that may not have been accessible elsewhere.

Migrants May Earn More Money When They Move Abroad, But Happiness Comes At A Price

Migration isn’t always a guarantee of success.

In fact, migrants can end up being the biggest losers in terms of greater income and productivity.

That’s because following an influx of immigrants, the greatest competition for jobs won’t be between immigrants and natives – it will be between immigrants themselves.

When there are more people competing for the same jobs and housing services, migrants have no choice but to settle for lower-wage jobs to make ends meet.

Also, migration comes with psychological repercussions that can’t be overlooked.

People leave behind their families and friends to start anew in a foreign country where they may not know anyone and are forced to learn a new language, culture, job market.

Studies show that migrants may even become unhappier after migrating due to this strain on their lives – a 2012 study revealing that migrants were 0.8 points lower on the happiness scale after 4 years compared to before their migration.

Ultimately, it’s important to take into account all aspects of migration when making any decisions; while higher income is always welcomed, migrants must also consider the risks they face both socially and emotionally during the process of relocation if they wish to ensure maximum benefit from their journey.

How Diasporas Can Use Political Pressure To Change Struggling Countries From Afar

Political Pressure

Migrants can have ambiguous political effects on the country in which they moved from.

On the one hand, individuals who move to more democratic countries are often able to use their newfound freedoms to increase pressure back home from without fear of repression or imprisonment.

An example of this was demonstrated when over a million Zimbabweans fled to South Africa since 2000, as many of them protested from afar against the Zimbabwean government.

On the other hand, these same migrants may actually decrease political change in their home countries if an authoritarian regime is controlling it.

This can be because dictatorships tend not to care about outside influence, and those leaving are often wealthier and educated – a population that typically rebels against authorities.

Furthermore, the remaining citizens in the country tend to be easier to control by said governments.

Lastly, another way for migrants to impact politics back home is by getting an education abroad and then returning to lead change or assist with reform in their homeland.

In fact, two thirds of developing countries’ political leaders were educated abroad in 1990!

Brain Drain Can Be Beneficial To Poor Countries – If They’Re Able To Invest In Education And Reap The Benefits Of Remittances

Migration can have a serious impact on small countries, draining its human capital and resources.

When plenty of educated people leave a country, it can lead to brain drain – a severe lack of educated workers – which can cause the country to suffer for decades as it struggles to catch up with new technological advances.

Haiti has been particularly hard hit by this phenomenon: at one point, 85 percent of its educated population had already left the country, leaving the 10 million people behind with very few professionals or talented workers.

In such cases, even those who receive an education might not be able to migrate due to financial restrictions or other circumstances.

On the positive side, remittances – money sent back from migrants in developed countries – do provide some assistance for those left behind.

In 2012 alone, these funds amounted to more than $400 billion worldwide.

Despite this injection of financial support however, the average increase in income often isn’t much bigger than it would have been had the migrant stayed in their home country and increased their productivity there.

Research And Facts Are Key To Crafting Sound Immigration Policies And Guiding The Future Of Migration


It is clear from the evidence that modern migration issues require innovative solutions and changes in migration policies.

Global trade and communication will be increasingly integrated, resulting in a decrease of overall mass migration.

The wealth gap between countries needs to close if the need for migration is to be lessened.

Furthermore, expansion of internet access can provide opportunities for people to work outside their home countries and bridge the world’s divides.

As such, it is up to host countries, who are in the best position to regulate immigration flow within their borders,to create policies that allow a reasonable number of immigrants while promoting integration efforts.

Immigration policy ceilings can regulate new arrivals while education criteria can be set as conditions for permanent residency.

These changes are integral for dealing with the ultimate exodus – when poorer countries repeatedly face the pressures of too many people wishing to leave.

Migration is an issue that continues to demand research and scholarly scrutiny; societies must act strictly by facts instead of pure opinion and morality when tackling this complex global phenomenon.

Wrap Up

The final summary of the book ‘Exodus’ is that migration is a difficult but necessary issue.

It affects both the host country and the country of origin in complex ways that are often difficult to understand or quantify.

There is no one-size fits all solution when it comes to formulating immigration policy, and this book offers a thorough analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by migration around the world.

In short, readers will gain valuable insight into migration that can be used to better inform themselves as well as contribute to constructive conversations about immigration policies.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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