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Labor Mobility in an Enlarged European Union

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  • Martin Kahanec

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Abstract

The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the EU extended the freedom of movement to workers from the twelve new member states mainly from Central Eastern Europe. This study summarizes and comparatively evaluates what we know about mobility in an enlarged Europe to date. The pre-enlargement fears of free labor mobility proved to be unjustified. No significant detrimental effects on the receiving countries’ labor markets have been documented, nor has there been any discernible welfare shopping. Rather, there appear to have been positive effects on EU’s productivity. The sending countries face some risks of losing their young and skilled labor force, but free labor mobility has relieved them of some redundant labor and the associated fiscal burden. They have also profited from remittances. Of key importance for the sending countries is to reap the benefits from brain gain and brain circulation in an enlarged EU. For the migrants the benefits in terms of better career prospects have with little doubt exceeded any pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of migration. In conclusion, the freedom of movement in the EU provides for a triple-win situation for the receiving and sending countries as well as for migrants themselves, provided the risks are contained and efficient brain circulation is achieved.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) in its series Discussion Papers with number 2.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cel:dpaper:2

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Keywords: EU labor markets; migration; EU enlargement; labor mobility; free movement of workers; transitional arrangements; new member states; European Union;

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References

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  1. Kahanec, Martin & Kim, Anna Myunghee & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Pitfalls of Immigrant Inclusion into the European Welfare State," IZA Discussion Papers 6260, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kahanec, Martin & Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 4230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Ochel, Wolfgang, 2003. "Social Union, Convergence and Migration," Munich Reprints in Economics 948, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Barbara Dietz, 2009. "Migration, remittances and the current economic crisis: implications for Central and Eastern Europe," Memoranda - Policy Papers 42, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  5. Bonin, Holger & Eichhorst, Werner & Florman, Christer & Hansen, Mette Okkels & Skiöld, Lena & Stuhler, Jan & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & Thomasen, Henrik & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Report No. 19: Geographic Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Economic and Social Benefits," IZA Research Reports 19, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Giulietti, Corrado & Guzi, Martin & Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Unemployment Benefits and Immigration: Evidence from the EU," IZA Discussion Papers 6075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Saleheen, Jumana & Shadforth, Chris, 2007. "The Impact of the Recent Migration from Eastern Europe on the UK Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 2615, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Hans-Werner Sinn & Gebhard Flaig & Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Nicola Düll & Herbert Hofmann, 2001. "EU-Erweiterung und Arbeitskräftemigration : Wege zu einer schrittweisen Annäherung der Arbeitsmärkte," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 2.
  9. Benoit A. Delbecq & Brigitte S. Waldorf, 2010. "Going West In The European Union:Migration And Eu Enlargement," Working Papers 10-4, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  10. Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "International Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 3450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Report No. 3: Assessment of Possible Migration Pressure and its Labour Market Impact Following EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Research Reports 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. repec:nsr:niesrd:379 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2012-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Martin Kahanec, 2013. "Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," Research Reports 1, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
  3. Kahanec, Martin, 2012. "Report No. 49: Skilled Labor Flows: Lessons from the European Union," IZA Research Reports 49, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Simonetta Longhi & Magdalena Rokicka, 2012. "European immigrants in the UK before and after the 2004 enlargement: Is there a change in immigrant self-selection?," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1232, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. Kahanec, Martin & Fabo, Brian, 2013. "Migration Strategies of the Crisis-Stricken Youth in an Enlarged European Union," IZA Discussion Papers 7285, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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