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Why do Low- and High-Skill Workers Migrate? Flow Evidence from France


  • Dominique M. Gross
  • Nicolas Schmitt


With a focus on the role of cultural clustering and income distribution, this paper investigates whether standard determinants influence international migration of workers to France with the same intensity across different skill levels and with or without free mobility. We find that low-skill migrants respond to most push and pull migration factors. High-skill migrants however respond only to financial incentives and cultural clustering does not matter. Migration policy is effective at controlling flows of low-skill migrants but free mobility has no impact on high-skill flows. Hence, France must rely on growing earnings and skill-premium to attract high-skill workers from high income countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique M. Gross & Nicolas Schmitt, 2006. "Why do Low- and High-Skill Workers Migrate? Flow Evidence from France," CESifo Working Paper Series 1797, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1797

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "How Large Is the "Brain Drain" from Italy?," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(1), pages 1-32, April.
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    6. Kwok, Viem & Leland, Hayne, 1982. "An Economic Model of the Brain Drain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 91-100, March.
    7. Faini, Riccardo, 2006. "Remittances and the Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 2155, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    10. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
    11. Schmitt, Nicolas & Soubeyran, Antoine, 2006. "A simple model of brain circulation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 296-309, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniëlle Bertrand-Cloodt & Frank Cörvers & Hans Heijke, 2017. "Ability, Academic Climate, and Going Abroad for Work or Pursuing a PhD," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 63(1), pages 119-140.
    2. Sona Schovankova, 2013. "Determinants of the Spatial Distribution of Foreign Empolyees on Different Skilled Positions: The Case of the Czech Republic," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 2, pages 115-139, June.
    3. Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Piva, Nora & Ponti, Giovanni, 2010. "Education, reputation or network? Evidence on migrant workers employability," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 64-71, January.

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