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European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?


  • Warin Thierry

    () (Middlebury College)

  • Svaton Pavel

    () (The Brookings Institution)


This paper presents an empirical assessment of bilateral migration flows into the EU-15 countries. Using an extended gravity model, it identifies economic, welfare state, geospatial and linguistic variables as the principal determinants of migration flows into the EU-15 countries. As long as its effect is not offset by a high unemployment rate in the host country, the level of social protection expenditure influences migrants' choice of destination. However, albeit acting as a joint force with other economic, cultural and geospatial variables, the welfare state characteristics of the host country need to be reckoned with when studying European migration flows. Our empirical findings lend some support for a more unified or at least better coordinated social policy across the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Warin Thierry & Svaton Pavel, 2008. "European Migration: Welfare Migration or Economic Migration?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-32, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:8:y:2008:i:3:n:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole B. Simpson & Chad Sparber, 2013. "The Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less-Educated Immigrant Flows into U.S. States," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 414-438, October.
    2. May Justin B, 2010. "Trade and Migration in an Enlarged European Union: A Spatial Analysis," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 1-40, January.
    3. Simpson, Nicole B. & Sparber, Chad, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less-Educated Immigration into U.S. States," IZA Discussion Papers 6437, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Simpson, Nicole & Sparber, Chad, 2010. "The Short-and Long-Run Determinants of Unskilled Immigration into US States," Working Papers 2010-06, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
    5. Jack DeWaard, 2013. "Compositional and Temporal Dynamics of International Migration in the EU/EFTA: A New Metric for Assessing Countries’ Immigration and Integration Policies," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 249-295, June.
    6. Warin Thierry & Blakely Andrew, 2012. "Choice or Mimetism in the Decision to Migrate? A European Illustration," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(2), pages 1-32, June.
    7. Kosta Josifidis & Novica Supic & Emilija Beker Pucar & Sladjana Srdic, 2014. "Labour migration flows: EU8+2 vs EU-15," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 41-55, February.
    8. Jack DeWaard & Keuntae Kim & James Raymer, 2012. "Migration Systems in Europe: Evidence From Harmonized Flow Data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(4), pages 1307-1333, November.
    9. Gail Pacheco & Stephanie Rossouw & Joshua Lewer, 2013. "Do Non-Economic Quality of Life Factors Drive Immigration?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 1-15, January.
    10. Jana Tepperová & Stanislav Klazar, 2012. "Vliv sociálních systémů a jejich koordinace na ekonomickou migraci
      [The Impact of Social Systems and their Coordination on Economic Migration]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(4), pages 505-522.
    11. Ilse Ruyssen & Gerdie Everaert & Glenn Rayp, 2014. "Determinants and dynamics of migration to OECD countries in a three-dimensional panel framework," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 175-197, February.
    12. Marco Marozzi, 2016. "Construction, Robustness Assessment and Application of an Index of Perceived Level of Socio-Economic Threat from Immigrants: A Study of 47 European Countries and Regions," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 413-437, August.
    13. Hall Joshua C. & Lawson Robert A. & Wogsland Rachael, 2011. "The European Union and Economic Freedom," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(3), pages 1-16, September.
    14. Ferro, Gabrielle & Grogan, Kelly A., 2014. "The Effects of State-Specific Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Policies on Individual Migration," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162541, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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