2013-14 Annual Report

This is the 2013-14 report of the activities of the Gifford Center for Population Studies. Director Philip Martin accepted a five-year term effective July 1, 2012, and this report summarizes Gifford-supported interdisciplinary research and dissemination activities in 2013-14. Rachael Goodhue is associate director.

Gifford-supported activities in 2013-14 assessed the impacts of population growth, including fertility, mortality, and migration, on a wide range of factors, from climate and agricultural systems to labor markets and the integration of immigrants.

There were three major Gifford Center conferences and four faculty-student workshops in 2012-13. The quarterly newsletter-journals Migration News and Rural Migration News were produced with the support of the on at the Gifford Center web site.


Gifford Center conferences include Distinguished Speakers and events featuring UC professors, graduate students, and non-UC participants.

Labor, Water and California Agriculture in 2014. April 18, 2014

The Gifford Center co-sponsored a conference that attracted over 120 participants to discuss two pressing issues facing California agriculture, the availability of labor and water. Over half of the hired workers on California farms are unauthorized, and a recent slowdown in unauthorized Mexico-US migration has pushed up farm wages and left farmers unsure if they will have sufficient seasonal workers. California is in its third consecutive year of drought, leading to reduced allocations of water for farmers, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, and renewed discussions of mechanisms to store and move more water from north to south. Graduate students participated actively in this conference. The report of the conference was published: http://giannini.ucop.edu/are-update/17/4/labor-water-california-ag/

Asian Migrants and the Transformation of Gulf Oil-exporting Countries, January 13-14, 2014

The Gifford Center hosted Distinguished Speaker Manolo Abella, former director of the International Migration Programme of the ILO (www.ilo.org/global/topics/labour-migration/lang--en/index.htm), to discuss the role of foreign workers in Asian economic development, especially migration from the Philippines to the Gulf Cooperation Countries. In addition to talks in several classes and meetings with graduate students interested in working for UN agencies, Abella gave a public talk that highlighted the rapid industrialization of GCC countries with the help of migrant workers, who are over 90 percent of private workers in most Gulf oil-exporting countries. 

The Global Market for Low-Skilled Labor. October 25-26, 2013

This research conference explored patterns of employment in the informal economy and the characteristics of workers employed by informal businesses; graduate students made a third of the presentations. The informal sector includes firms and their employees that are not covered by labor laws, either because of exemptions or because firms that should register do not. How aggressively should regulators police such firms? If they are too aggressive, there may be unemployment for the half or more of workers in many developing countries employed in the informal sector. On the other hand, governments want to foster jobs that offer wages adequate to support a family, work-related benefits, and rights at work, including the right to form unions.

Immigration Reform: What Next. October 11, 2013. This conference, organized in conjunction with social science graduate students and law students, assessed the prospects for US immigration reform. The US had about 20 percent of the world's 232 million international migrants in 2013, and accepts 1.1 million immigrants and almost 500,000 nonimmigrant or temporary foreign workers each year. What makes the US unusual is that almost 30 percent of the 42 million foreign-born US residents, about 12 million, are unauthorized. The House is unwilling to accept the three-pronged reform package, S 744, that was approved by the Senate in June 2013 to increase enforcement, legalize many unauthorized foreigners in the US, and expand and launch new guest worker programs.


The UCD Gifford Migration Workgroup brings UCD graduate students and faculty together in an interdisciplinary setting to discuss migration-related research.

Intra-EU Migration and Migrant Integration. June 10, 2014

This workshop explored intra-EU migration and migrant integration; graduate students acted as discussants. There are over 50 million migrants in the EU-28 member states, including a third who moved from one EU member state to another. Far more Central Europeans than expected migrated west after 2004, and there is debate in 2014 about how many Bulgarians and Romanians may migrate to other EU countries and seek welfare. Meanwhile, Germany and other EU countries with stronger economies that attract migrants are developing a “welcome culture” to accompany “integration contracts” and speed the integration of immigrants.

The Arab Argentine Network in the Early 20th Century. May 16, 2014

This workshop was led by a graduate student who discussed Arab immigrants in early 20th century Argentina who traveled trains to sell goods and services to rural residents. Established Arab immigrants helped newcomers with loans and advice, and Arab immigrant communities developed.

DACA and Mayan Youth. November 21, 2013. January 24, 2013

This workshop featured presentations by graduate students on the 500,000 unauthorized youth who applied for two-year work and residence permits under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals and the integration of unauthorized Guatemalan Maya youth in Los Angeles.

Migration News and Rural Migration News

These quarterly newsletter-journals, each about 20,000 words and published in mid-January, April, July, and October, provide a summary and analysis of the most important migration issues globally and in rural and agricultural areas of the US. Migration News covers migration developments in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world, analyzing both policy and research developments. Rural Migration News covers developments in rural and agricultural areas of the US, with a special focus on farm labor, immigration, and more general agricultural issues. Both newsletters are produced with the help of graduate and undergraduate students.


There are two Gifford accounts, 3-GIFFINA (student support) and 3-GIFENDO (program support). Spending exceeded the amounts generated by these endowments in the years before Martin became director, prompting a conservative approach to spending. We were able to obtain matching support for several of the conferences in 2013-14, reducing the need for Gifford funds.