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Potential emigration of Latvian labour force after joining the EU and its impact on Latvian labour market

Author

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  • Mihails Hazans

    () (University of Latvia, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS))

Abstract

This paper uses empirical evidence from several sources to shed light on patterns of mobility of Latvian labour force during the transition period as well as in the years to come. Updated inter-regional migration rates show that Latvian population is relatively mobile compared to some other European nations. Other things equal, during the transition period people were more likely to leave districts with low wage levels and to enter the ones where earnings are higher, despite many countervailing factors; outflow rates tended to be larger from high unemployment regions. Analysis of individual migration decisions made in 1989-1999 and migration plans for 1999-2002 confirms significance of economic incentives for geographical mobility of Latvian population and reveals behaviour consistent with the human capital model: young and more educated individuals were more likely to move. On-line survey conducted in 2003 shows that a very high proportion of Internet users in Latvia consider possibility to work in one of the EU countries when these countries open their labour markets. According to the most conservative estimate, number of potential movers among Internet users is about 80 thousand, and only half of them are going to return to Latvia. Determinants of the intention to emigrate permanently are different from the factors affecting general propensity to “go west.” Other things equal, potential emigrants are significantly less likely to return if they prefer Russian (rather than Latvian) language website, have higher education, are young, and live in the capital. We also identify occupations which are likely to experience the largest labour outflows in the short run and in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Mihails Hazans, 2003. "Potential emigration of Latvian labour force after joining the EU and its impact on Latvian labour market," SSE Riga/BICEPS Research Papers 2003-2, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS);Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga).
  • Handle: RePEc:bic:rpaper:2003-2
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    File URL: http://biceps.org/assets/docs/izpetes-raksti/ResearchPaperNo2003_2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas Bauer & Ira Gang & Gil Epstein, 2000. "What Are Migration Networks?," Departmental Working Papers 200016, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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    5. Barry Chiswick & Timothy J. Hatton, 2003. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jennifer Hunt, 2000. "Why Do People Still Live in East Germany?," NBER Working Papers 7564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Fidrmuc, Jan, 2004. "Migration and regional adjustment to asymmetric shocks in transition economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 230-247, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Zasova & Aleksejs Melihovs, 2005. "Assessment of Labour Market Elasticity in Latvia," Working Papers 2005/03, Latvijas Banka.
    2. Mihails Hazans, 2007. "Looking for the workforce: the elderly, discouraged workers, minorities, and students in the Baltic labour markets," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 319-349, September.
    3. Yordan Kalchev & Valentin Goev & Vesselin Mintchev & Venelin Boshnakov, 2004. "Bulgarian Emigration in the Beginning of ÕÕI Century: an Assessment of Attitudes and the Profile of Potential Emigrants," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 5, pages 3-30.
    4. Mirta Kapural, 2005. "Freedom of movement of workers in the enlarged European Union and its effect on Croatia," Chapters in books,in: Katarina Ott (ed.), Croatian Accession to the European Union: Facing the Challenges of Negotiations, volume 3, chapter 4, pages 85-107 Institute of Public Finance.
    5. Yordan Kalchev, & Valentin Goev & Vesselin Mintchev & Venelin Boshnakov, 2004. "External Migration from Bulgaria at the Beginning of the XXI Century: Estimates of Potential Emigrants’ Attitudes and Profile," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 7, pages 137-161.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Migration; Regional Disparities; Human Capital; EU enlargement;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access

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