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Free Mobility with the EU and Immigration of North American Brains to Switzerland: What Consequences?

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  • Dominique M. Gross

Abstract

In 2002, Switzerland started to implement free mobility with the European Union and simultaneously immigration rules for citizens from the rest of the world became more stringent. Only skilled workers could be hired from third countries and employers had to give priority in hiring to Swiss and European skilled applicants. This paper shows that the new legislation has strongly adversely affected the size of high-skill immigration from North America. Also, incentives to leave those countries have changed as North Americans are more inclined to consider home professional networks and financial opportunities. The consequence is less geographical heterogeneity in immigrants which may decrease Swiss firms' ability to gain information about non-European markets and increase their entry cost into those markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique M. Gross, 2012. "Free Mobility with the EU and Immigration of North American Brains to Switzerland: What Consequences?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(IV), pages 497-530, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2012-iv-2
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    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2012-IV-2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Dominique M. Gross & Nicolas Schmitt, 2012. "Low- and high-skill migration flows: free mobility versus other determinants," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 1-20, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2014. "Immigration, Cultural Distance and Natives' Attitudes Towards Immigrants: Evidence from Swiss Voting Results," IZA Discussion Papers 8409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    High-skill immigration; free mobility policy; Switzerland; North America; incentives;

    JEL classification:

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

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