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Labor Market Laws and Intra-European Migration: The Role of the State in Shaping Destination Choices

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  • John Palmer
  • Mariola Pytlikova

    ()

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between migrants’ destination choices and the formal labor market access afforded by multiple potential host countries in the context of the EU’s eastward enlargement. We use an index of labor market access laws combined with data on migration from new EU member states into the existing states of the EU and EFTA from 2004 through 2010 to test whether (1) migrants are attracted to destinations that give them greater formal labor market access, and (2) migration flows to any given destination are influenced by the labor market policies of competing destinations. Our data support both propositions: Migration between origin/destination pairs was positively associated with the loosening of destination labor market restrictions while negatively associated with the loosening of competing destinations’ labor market restrictions. These relationships hold even when economic indicators, social welfare spending, and existing immigrant stocks are modeled. By combining rich EU data with a unique approach to evaluating competing legal regimes, the analysis helps us better understand how law shapes migration in a multidestinati­on world.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) in its series Discussion Papers with number 9.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cel:dpaper:9

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Keywords: International migration; labor market access laws; EU enlargement;

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  1. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1206, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytliková, Mariola, 2008. "EU Enlargement: Migration flows from Central and Eastern Europe into the Nordic countries - exploiting a natural experiment," Working Papers, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics 08-29, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  3. 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).
  4. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
  5. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  6. Hatton, Timothy J & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 2002. "Out of Africa? Using the Past to Project African Emigration Pressure in the Future," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 556-73, August.
  7. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
  8. Cobb-Clark, D.A. & Connolly, M.D., 1996. "The Worldwide Market for Skilled Migrants: Can Australia Compete?," CEPR Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University 341, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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