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Does Emigration Benefit the Stayers? The EU Enlargement as a Natural Experiment. Evidence from Lithuania

  • Benjamin Elsner

    (Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics and the Institute for International Integration Studies)

The eastern enlargement of the European Union in 2004 triggered a large flow of migrant workers from the new member states to the UK and Ireland. This paper analyzes the impact of this migration wave on the real wages in the source countries. I consider the case of Lithuania, which had the highest share of emigrants relative to its workforce among all ten new member states. Using data from the Lithuanian Household Budget Survey and the Irish Census, I find that emigration had a significant positive effect on the wages of men who stayed in the country, but no such effect is visible for women. A percentage point increase in the emigration rate increases the real wage of men on average by 1%. Several robustness checks confirm this result.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.151.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.151
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  1. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  2. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  3. Kahanec, Martin & Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 4230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. George J. Borjas & Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2008. "Imperfect Substitution between Immigrants and Natives: A Reappraisal," NBER Working Papers 13887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alan Barrett & David Duffy, 2007. "Are Ireland's Immigrants Integrating into its Labour Market?," Papers WP199, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2007. "Rethinking the effects of immigration on wages," HWWI Research Papers 3-8, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  7. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact Of Mass Migration On The Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408, November.
  8. Catia Batista, 2007. "Joining the EU: Capital Flows, Migration and Wages," Economics Series Working Papers 342, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, August.
  10. Joseph G. Altonji & David Card, 1991. "The Effects of Immigration on the Labor Market Outcomes of Less-skilled Natives," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market, pages 201-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "EU Enlargement, Migration and the New Constitution," CESifo Working Paper Series 1367, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Hazans, Mihails & Philips, Kaia, 2011. "The Post-Enlargement Migration Experience in the Baltic Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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