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Labor Market Laws and Intra-European Migration: The Role of the State in Shaping Destination Choices

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  • John Palmer

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Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between migrants’ destination choices and the formal labor market access afforded by multiple potential host countries in the context of the EU’s eastward enlargement. We use an index of labor market access laws combined with data on migration from new EU member states into the existing states of the EU and EFTA from 2004 through 2010 to test whether (1) migrants are attracted to destinations that give them greater formal labor market access, and (2) migration flows to any given destination are influenced by the labor market policies of competing destinations. Our data support both propositions: Migration between origin/destination pairs was positively associated with the loosening of destination labor market restrictions while negatively associated with the loosening of competing destinations’ labor market restrictions. These relationships hold even when economic indicators, social welfare spending, and existing immigrant stocks are modeled. By combining rich EU data with a unique approach to evaluating competing legal regimes, the analysis helps us better understand how law shapes migration in a multidestinati­on world.

Suggested Citation

  • John Palmer, 2013. "Labor Market Laws and Intra-European Migration: The Role of the State in Shaping Destination Choices," Discussion Papers 9, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
  • Handle: RePEc:cel:dpaper:9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alicia Adsera & Mariola Pytlikova, 2012. "The role of language in shaping international migration," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012014, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
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    4. Corrado Giulietti & Martin Guzi & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and immigration: evidence from the EU," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 24-38, March.
    5. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytlikova, Mariola & Smith, Nina, 2008. "Selection and network effects--Migration flows into OECD countries 1990-2000," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1160-1186, October.
    6. Pedersen, Peder J. & Pytliková, Mariola, 2008. "EU Enlargement: Migration flows from Central and Eastern Europe into the Nordic countries - exploiting a natural experiment," Working Papers 08-29, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
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    8. Cobb-Clark, D.A. & Connolly, M.D., 1996. "The Worldwide Market for Skilled Migrants: Can Australia Compete?," CEPR Discussion Papers 341, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakrabarti, Anindya S. & Dutta, Aparna, 2015. "Economic incentives versus institutional frictions: migration dynamics within Europe," IIMA Working Papers WP2015-08-06, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    2. Capuano, Stella & Migali, Silvia, 2016. "The migration of professionals within the EU : any barriers left?," IAB Discussion Paper 201634, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:4:p:760-773 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Elvira Nica, 2015. "Labor Market Determinants of Migration Flows in Europe," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International migration; labor market access laws; EU enlargement;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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