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Emigration and Wages: The EU Enlargement Experiment

  • Benjamin Elsner

    (Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics and IIIS)

This paper studies the impact of a large emigration wave on real wages in the source country. Following EU enlargement in 2004, a large share of the workforce of the Central and Eastern Europe emigrated to Western Europe. Using data from Lithuania for the calibration of a factor demand model I show that emigration had a significant short-run impact on real wages in the source country. In particular, emigration led to a change in the wage distribution between young and old workers. The wages of young workers increased by 6%, whereas the wages of old workers decreased by around 1%. On the contrary, I find no effect on the wage distribution between workers of different education levels.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2011.76.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2011.76
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  1. 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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  3. Gibson, John & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Eight questions about brain drain," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5668, The World Bank.
  4. Benjamin Elsner, 2010. "Does Emigration Benefit the Stayers? The EU Enlargement as a Natural Experiment. Evidence from Lithuania," Working Papers 2010.151, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. D Amuri, Francesco & Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "The Labour Market Impact of Immigration in Western Germany in the 1990's," CEPR Discussion Papers 6736, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," Working Papers 2008.77, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
  9. Brunello, Giorgio & Crivellaro, Elena & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2010. "Lost in Transition? The Returns to Education Acquired under Communism 15 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall," IZA Discussion Papers 5409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2011. "Migration and Wage‐setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 286-317, 06.
  11. Yann Algan & Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Alan Manning, 2009. "The Economic Situation of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants in France, Germany and the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp0951, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Catia Batista, 2007. "Joining the EU: Capital Flows, Migration and Wages," Economics Series Working Papers 342, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2011. "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 1-32, Spring.
  14. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2009. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0918, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  15. Barrett, Alan & Duffy, David, 2007. "Are Ireland’s Immigrants Integrating into its Labour Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 2838, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Ray Barrell & John FitzGerald & Rebecca Riley, 2007. "EU Enlargement and Migration: Assessing the Macroeconomic Impacts," Papers WP203, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  17. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Antonio Ciccone & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "Long-run substitutability between more and less educated workers: Evidence from U.S. States 1950-1990," Economics Working Papers 764, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  19. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, 01.
  20. Gordon H Hanson & Craig McIntosh, 2010. "The Great Mexican Emigration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 798-810, November.
  21. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2007. "Cross-Country Variation in the Impact of International Migration: Canada, Mexico, and the United States," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 663-708, 06.
  22. Alan Barrett & Adele Bergin & David Duffy, 2006. "The Labour Market Characteristics and Labour Market Impacts of Immigrants in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(1), pages 1-26.
  23. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0754, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  24. Mishra, Prachi, 2007. "Emigration and wages in source countries: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 180-199, January.
  25. Jason Gagnon, 2011. "“Stay With Us?” The Impact of Emigration on Wages in Honduras," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 300, OECD Publishing.
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