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Simon_Daniel

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For me it helps to swap nationalities around.

It seems to me that if there are not enough nurses in Nigeria, and too many in the UK, then the problem is as much due to a failure of people from the UK to move to Nigeria and work as nurses there as it is due to the movement of people from Nigeria to the UK to work as nurses there. Forcing people who happen to be Nigerian to work in Nigeria for low wages (indirectly, through migration laws) is as bad as forcing people who happen to be from the UK to work in Nigeria for low wages. 

Paraphrasing Bryan Caplan:  Imagine that a nurse from the UK goes to Nigeria for a holiday. Then, when they try to get on the plane back to the UK, they're told that because of concern about the nursing shortage in Nigeria, the British government has stripped them of their right to live and work in the UK; however, they're free to live and work as a nurse in Nigeria.

I don't think we should treat UK nurses like that, and I don't think we should treat people differently just because they happen to have been born in a different place (possibly especially when that different place is much poorer anyway), so that tells me that we shouldn't treat Nigerian nurses like that either. 

This is possibly a little provocative, but I'd be interested to know whether people who support removing migration options for Nigerian nurses in order to "encourage" them to work as nurses in Nigeria would also support forcing nurses from the UK to work as nurses in Nigeria (and to earn a Nigerian nurse's wage and live a Nigerian nurse's lifestyle). If it's not ok to force UK nurses to live like that, what makes it ok to force Nigerian nurses to live like that?

(I'm not sure how that comment comes across. I get very emotional when I talk about this topic.)

Another consideration: you have to be careful using the country as a unit of analysis when international migration is involved. For example, if someone with an income of $10 a day in Nigeria moves from Nigeria to the UK, finds a job, and ends up with an income of $40 a day, then the average income in Nigeria has decreased and the average income in the UK has decreased. But the average income of the whole group of people - both people from Nigeria and people from the UK, considered together and regardless of which of the two countries they currently live in - has increased. (You could also just think about the average income of Nigerians, as opposed to the average income of Nigeria. This is the concept of income per natural, as developed by Michael Clemens and Lant Pritchett. See here.)