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European labor market integration: what the experts think


  • Annabelle Krause
  • Ulf Rinne
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the current state of the single European labor market (SELM), its related risks and opportunities, and identify useful measures for reaching the goal of increased European labor mobility. Design/methodology/approach - The authors conducted an online survey among European labor market experts (IZA research and policy fellows) on the current state of the SELM, its determinants, and the role of the Great Recession. The authors evaluate the data using descriptive and regression-based methods. Findings - The experts agree on the SELM’s importance, especially for larger economic welfare, but are not convinced that it has been achieved. To enhance labor mobility across Europe, the respondents identify key factors such as recognizing professional qualifications more efficiently, harmonizing social security systems, and knowing several languages. Moreover, at least 50 percent of the respondents consider positive attitudes – by policy makers and citizens alike – toward free mobility to be important to enhance labor mobility. Originality/value - The IZA Expert Opinion Survey presents a unique opportunity to learn how numerous experts think about the important issue of European labor market integration and moreover constitutes a valuable extension to public opinion surveys on related topics. This survey’s findings provide a sophisticated basis for a discussion about policy options regarding the SELM.

Suggested Citation

  • Annabelle Krause & Ulf Rinne & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2017. "European labor market integration: what the experts think," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 954-974, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:ijm-05-2017-0101

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    Cited by:

    1. Julia Jauer & Thomas Liebig & John P. Martin & Patrick A. Puhani, 2019. "Migration as an adjustment mechanism in the crisis? A comparison of Europe and the United States 2006–2016," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 1-22, January.
    2. Noja Gratiela Georgiana & Moroc Andrei, 2016. "Labour Mobility Within the Eu: Major Effects and Implications for the Main Sending and Receiving Economies," European Journal of Economics and Business Studies Articles, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 2, May-Augus.
    3. Ambrocio, Gene & Hasan, Iftekhar & Jokivuolle, Esa & Ristolainen, Kim, 2020. "Are bank capital requirements optimally set? Evidence from researchers’ views," Research Discussion Papers 10/2020, Bank of Finland.

    More about this item


    Economic crisis; Migration; European integration; Labour market reforms; Labour mobility; J40; J61; J68;

    JEL classification:

    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy


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