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European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials

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  • Klaus F. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2004. "European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 460, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp460
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Timothy J. Hatton, 2004. "Seeking asylum in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 5-62, April.
    3. Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1995. "Tackling the European Migration Problems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 45-62, Spring.
    4. 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.
    5. Maurice Obstfeld & Giovanni Peri, 1998. "Regional non-adjustment and fiscal policy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 205-259, April.
    6. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "German Job Mobility and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 4, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    8. Bauer, Thomas & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1995. "Integrating the East: The Labour Market Effects of Immigration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1235, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Zimmermann, Klaus F. (ed.), 2005. "European Migration: What Do We Know?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199257355.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour mobility; Migration; Skilled migration; Unskilled migration; Migration policy; Integration policy;

    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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