Unemployment and Migration: Does Moving Help?
This paper studies the migration behaviour of the unemployed in Finland, and analyses the causal effect of moving on individual employment status. In 1994 17 per cent of the labour force was unemployed and the unemployment rate exhibited a very slow decline in 1994-96. Over half of those who were unemployed at the end of 1994 were still unemployed two years later. The propensity to find a job is somewhat greater among migrants. However, the positive effect of moving diminishes once other personal characteristics are accounted for. Moreover, when endogenous migrant selectivity is controlled for, an insignificant or even a negative effect on employment status emerges. This indicates that the better "quality" of the migrants (e.g. age, education, human capital and unobserved ability), rather than the act of moving itself, causes an improvement in re-employability. Hence, migration alone may not be a very effective mechanism for alleviating individual unemployment.
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