Chile: migration and commuting linked with human development and economic growth

17 Jun 2014

Research from The University of Queensland (UQ) links migration and commuting with human development and economic growth in Chile.

UQ PhD recipient Dr Francisco Rowe has explored the role of migration and commuting in meeting labour demand, and the evolving connections between geographic mobility, and political and economic changes in the Chilean economy.
Dr Rowe said that migration and commuting are the primary mechanisms that alter the pattern of human settlement in many developed and emergent economies, promoting growth in certain areas while reducing population numbers elsewhere. 

"These geographical processes bring skills, knowledge and labour into regions needing to enhance economic productivity and social welfare," he said.

"For Chile, these processes represent an important mechanism for reducing the high concentration of economic activity and population in the Metropolitan region, while stimulating growth in other regions of the country.
“The outcomes of this research will provide valuable data to enhance sub-national population projections, plan for the provision of housing, education and health infrastructure, and inform labour-market policies for local employment creation.”
Dr Rowe’s research has received international recognition, with his work published in the first English language book on regional policies in Latin America entitled ‘Regional Problems and Policies in Latin America', as well as being asked to submit papers for the prestigious Tiebout Prize in Regional Economics and the 2014 Tinbergen Workshop in Amsterdam.
“My aim is to become a world leading expert in the field of human capital mobility and economic geography, and to build a strong research profile of publication to develop a teaching and research career.
"UQ has helped me to reach this goal by providing me with a stimulating space to interact with world leading experts in the field of human mobility, and to experience cutting edge technology for geographic visualisation and mapping.”
A recipient of a CONICYT Bicentennial Becas Chile Scholarship to study his PHD at UQ, Dr Rowe received a Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence upon graduating in 2013.
“I believe this initiative to recognise students demonstrating high performance in academia is great.
“It has not only a motivating effect on people but also gives a signal to sponsoring institutions that their selection criteria work and their money is being well spent.”
Dr Rowe now works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland Centre for Population Research where he is currently focused on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project which seeks to determine the factors that attract and retain school leavers and tertiary graduates in non-metropolitan areas of Australia.
The UQ Global Engagement Office collaborates with more than 70 scholarship partners around the world so international students can successfully study and research at UQ.