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European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials

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  • Klaus 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 by providing competitive institutional settings for European companies. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus Zimmermann, 2005. "European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(4), pages 425-450, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:decono:v:153:y:2005:i:4:p:425-450
    DOI: 10.1007/s10645-005-2660-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1998. "German Job Mobility and Wages," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Isao Ohashi & Toshiaki Tachibanaki (ed.), Internal Labour Markets, Incentives and Employment, chapter 12, pages 300-332, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. Hans Roodenburg & Rob Euwals & Harry ter Rele, 2003. "Immigration and the Dutch economy," CPB Special Publication 47, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Maurice Obstfeld & Giovanni Peri, 1998. "Regional non-adjustment and fiscal policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 206-259.
    5. Bauer, T. & Zimmermann, K., 1995. "Integrating the East: The Labor Market Effects of Immigration," Papers 5, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies-.
    6. Black,Stanley W., 2008. "Europe's Economy Looks East," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521088237, June.
    7. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    8. Timothy J. Hatton, 2004. "Seeking asylum in Europe [‘Violence against citizens in civil wars: looting or terror?’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 6-62.
    9. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
    10. Zimmermann, Klaus F. (ed.), 2005. "European Migration: What Do We Know?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199257355, April.
    11. 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.
    12. Klaus F. Zimmermann & Thomas K. Bauer (ed.), 2002. "The Economics of Migration," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 1448.
    13. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    integration policy; labour mobility; migration; migration policy; skilled unskilled migration; J61; J21; J68; J82; F22;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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