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European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials

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  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

Abstract

European Union economies are pressed by (i) a demographic change that induces population ageing and a decline of the workforce, and (ii) a split labour market that is characterized by high levels of unemployment for low -skilled people and a simultaneous shortage of skilled workers. This lack of flexible high-skilled workers and the aging process has created the image of an immobile labour force and the eurosklerosis phenomenon. In such a situation, an economically motivated immigration policy at the European level can generate welfare improvements. A selective policy that discourages unskilled migrants and attracts skilled foreign workers will vitalize the labour market, foster growth and increase demand for unskilled native workers. The paper summarizes the available economic insights, and suggests (i) the need to harmonize the single -country migration policies across Europe and (ii) that the European Union needs to become an active player on the international labour markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 460.

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Length: 32 p.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp460

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Keywords: Labour mobility; Migration; Skilled migration; Unskilled migration; Migration policy; Integration policy;

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  1. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
  2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  3. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
  4. Zimmermann, Klaus F. (ed.), 2005. "European Migration: What Do We Know?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199257355, October.
  5. Timothy J. Hatton, 2004. "Seeking asylum in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 5-62, 04.
  6. Faini, Riccardo & Galli, Giampaolo & Gennari, Pietro & Rossi, Fulvio, 1997. "An empirical puzzle: Falling migration and growing unemployment differentials among Italian regions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 571-579, April.
  7. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "German Job Mobility and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 4, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Bauer, T. & Zimmermann, K., 1995. "Integrating the East: The Labor Market Effects of Immigration," Papers, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies- 5, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
  9. Bauer, Thomas K. & Lofstrom, Magnus & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2000. "Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Maurice Obstfeld & Giovanni Peri, 1998. "Regional non-adjustment and fiscal policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 205-259, 04.
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