PhD Candidate Andrew Rosenberg Wins Presidential Fellowship

June 5, 2018
Andrew Rosenberg

Andrew Rosenberg, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science, has been awarded a Presidential Fellowship which is the most prestigious award given by the Graduate School. Fellows are nominated by graduate studies committee chairs and selected through a university-wide competition led by a faculty committee. The title of Rosenberg's dissertation is Global Migration and the Segregated Structure of International Politics and his committee is comprised of Political Science faculty Christopher Gelpi (Co-Chair), Alexander Wendt (Co-Chair), Bear Braumoeller, William Minozzi, and Inés Valdez. More information about Rosenberg and his research can be found on his personal website and an abstract of his dissertaion is below.

Abstract: Scholars from all subfields of political science agree that racism and xenophobia affect migration processes. However, they lack a way to measure this prejudice
because most states eliminated racial migration quotas in the 1960s. Ironically, these explicit policies were inferentially useful, as they clearly indicated the relationship between race and opportunities to migrate. Without them, that relationship becomes the object of more forensic analysis, as overt racism has given way to structural racism.

This dissertation presents the first ever method for measuring and inferring racial bias in the international system. To do so, I rely on a novel measurement strategy. I compare observed migration flows from 1961 to 2010 to those we would expect to see in an economically rational, racially blind world. In a world where economic rationality—not structural prejudice—governs international migration, these deviations would appear random, or conform to known relationships such as enduring rivalries. Instead, I find widespread, systematic patterns of inequalities.

I use this measure to yield three main findings. First, I show that migrants from the Global South—particularly Sub Saharan Africa—migrate far less than we would expect under a racially blind model. This result suggests the existence of a global hierarchy of movement. Second, I find evidence that this inequality in migration opportunities leads to less human capital accumulation and economic development in migrant sending countries. Finally, this negative effect on economic development is unambiguous for the non white states of the Global South. Not only do would be migrants from these states move far less than expected, it is in these states where the negative effects on economic development are the most pronounced. Therefore, contrary to expectations, I dismiss the longstanding argument that emigration hampers economic development—via a ‘‘brain drain’’—in the developing world, and instead can narrow the racial inequality gap.

These results suggest that Western policymakers ought to consider the higher order effects of restricting immigration. Even though these policies are not explicitly racist, they have a hand in deepening international racial inequality. Future work will identify specific policies that contribute most to this inequality.