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  • 1 Corvinus University Budapest Honorary Adjunct Professor of Economics Budapest Hungary
  • 2 Innsbruck University Adjunct Professor of Political Science Innsbruck Austria
  • 3 Korea University Department of Food and Resource Economics Seoul Korea
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With the growing environmental crisis affecting our globe, ideas to weigh economic or social progress by the ‘energy input’ necessary to achieve it are increasingly gaining acceptance. This question is intriguing and is being dealt with by a growing number of studies, focusing on the environmental price of human progress. Even more intriguing, however, is the question of which factors of social organization contribute to a responsible use of the resources of our planet to achieve a given social result (‘smart development’). In this essay, we present the first systematic study on how migration — or rather, more concretely, received worker remittances per GDP — helps the nations of our globe to enjoy social and economic progress at a relatively small environmental price. We look at the effects of migration on the balance sheets of societal accounting, based on the ‘ecological price’ of the combined performance of democracy, economic growth, gender equality, human development, research and development, and social cohesion. Feminism in power, economic freedom, population density, the UNDP education index as well as the receipt of worker remittances all significantly contribute towards a ‘smart overall development’, while high military expenditures and a high world economic openness are a bottleneck for ‘smart overall development’.

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