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The demand for high-skilled workers and immigration policy


  • Thomas K. Bauer
  • Astrid Kunze


This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the demand for high-skilled workers using a new firm data set, the IZA International Employer Survey 2000. Our results suggest that while workers from EU-countries are mainly complements to domestic high-skilled workers, workers from non-EU countries are hired because of a shortage of high-skilled labour. The paper, furthermore, provides a short description of recent German policy initiatives regarding the temporary immigration of high-skilled labour. In view of our descriptive results these temporary immigration policies seem, however, to satisfy only partly the demand of firms interested in recruiting foreign high-skilled workers. A more comprehensive immigration policy covering also the permanent immigration of high-skilled workers appears to be necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas K. Bauer & Astrid Kunze, 2004. "The demand for high-skilled workers and immigration policy," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(1), pages 77-88.
  • Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2004:v:47:i:1:p:57-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schmidt, Christoph M. & Haisken-DeNew, John P. & Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "International Labor Migration, Economic Growth and Labor Markets - The Current State of Affairs," RWI Discussion Papers 20, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    2. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Why Do Firms Recruit Internationally? Results from the IZA International Employer Survey 2000," IZA Discussion Papers 331, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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).
    4. Gil S. Epstein & Astrid Kunze & Melanie E. Ward, 2009. "High-Skilled Migration And The Exertion Of Effort By The Local Population," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(3), pages 332-352, July.
    5. Winkelmann, Rainer & Kunze, Astrid & Locher, Lilo & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie E., 2001. "Report No. 4: Die Nachfrage nach internationalen hochqualifizierten Beschäftigten," IZA Research Reports 4, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Mari Kangasniemi & Matilde Mas & Catherine Robinson & Lorenzo Serrano, 2012. "The economic impact of migration: productivity analysis for Spain and the UK," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 333-343, December.
    2. Kangasniemi, Mari & Mas, Matilde & Robinson, Catherine & Serrano, Lorenzo, 2009. "The Economic Impact of Migration: Productivity Analysis for Spain and the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 17212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Gernandt, Johannes & Aldashev, Alisher, 2007. "Earnings Prospects for People with Migration Background in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-031 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Thomas K. Bauer & Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand & Mathias G. Sinning, 2011. "A Comparative Analysis Of The Nativity Wealth Gap," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(4), pages 989-1007, October.
    5. Lin, Xiaohua & Yang, Xiyan, 2017. "From human capital externality to entrepreneurial aspiration: Revisiting the migration-trade linkage," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 360-371.
    6. Docquier,Frederic & Marfouk,Abdeslam, 2004. "Measuring the international mobility of skilled workers (1990-2000) : release 1.0," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3381, The World Bank.
    7. Vakulenko, Elena & Leukhin, Roman, 2015. "Investigation of demand for the foreign workforce in Russian regions using applications for quotas," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 37(1), pages 67-86.
    8. Vlad Manole & Maurice Schiff, 2013. "Migration and Diversity: Human versus Social Capital," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 281-294, May.
    9. Bellemare, Charles, 2007. "A life-cycle model of outmigration and economic assimilation of immigrants in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 553-576, April.
    10. Carraro, Carlo & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2005. "Labour demand with heterogeneous workers: Migrations and unemployment," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 119-136, June.
    11. Panos Hatzipanayotou & Michael S. Michael, 2005. "Migration, Tied Foreign Aid and the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1497, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. Burkert, Carola & Niebuhr, Annekatrin & Wapler, Rüdiger, 2007. "Regional disparities in employment of high-skilled foreigners: Determinants and options for migration policy in Germany," HWWI Research Papers 3-7, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    13. Bossler, Mario, 2013. "Recruiting abroad: the role of foreign affinity and labour market scarcity," IAB Discussion Paper 201319, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    14. Michael S. Michael, 2006. "Are Migration Policies that Induce Skilled (Unskilled) Migration Beneficial (Harmful) for the Host Country?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1814, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    skilled migration; immigration policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy


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