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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

    ()
    (Princeton University)

  • Mariola Pytlikova

    ()
    (Danish Institute of Governmental Research (KORA) and CReAM London)

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between migrants' destination choices and the formal labor market access a fforded 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 Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London in its series Norface Discussion Paper Series with number 2013015.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nor:wpaper:2013015

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  1. 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, vol. 10(3), pages 556-73, August.
  2. Corrado Giulietti & Martin Guzi & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and immigration: evidence from the EU," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 24-38, January.
  3. Belot, Michèle & Hatton, Timothy J., 2008. "Immigrant Selection in The OECD," CEPR Discussion Papers 6675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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 08-29, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
  7. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
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