This paper empirically assesses, for the first time, the relationship between immigration and national economic development in both the global North and the global South. A series of panel models demonstrate that immigration exacerbates North-South inequalities through differential effects on average per capita incomes in the global North and global South. Immigration has positive effects on average incomes in both the North and the South, but the effect is larger in the global North. Thus the relationship between immigration and development evinces a Matthew Effect at the world level: by contributing to differential levels of economic development in the North and South, immigration widens international inequalities in the long term, resulting in the accumulation of advantage in the North. The implications of the results are discussed in the context theory and policy on the migration-development nexus.

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