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Irregular immigration in the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Orrenius, Pia M.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

  • Zavodny, Madeline

    () (Agnes Scott College)

Abstract

Unauthorized immigration is on the rise again in the EU. Although precise estimates are hard to come by, proximity to nations in turmoil and the promise of a better life have drawn hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants to the EU in 2014-2015. Further complicating the ongoing challenge is the confounding flow of humanitarian migrants, who are fleeing not for a job but for their lives. Those who flee for better economic conditions are irregular migrants, not humanitarian migrants, but the lines between the two are often blurred. This policy brief surveys the state of irregular immigration to the EU and draws on lessons from the U.S. experience. It focuses on economic aspects of unauthorized immigration. There are economic benefits to receiving countries as well as to unauthorized migrants themselves, but those benefits require that migrants are able to access the labor market and that prices and wages are flexible. Meanwhile, mitigating fiscal costs requires limiting access to public assistance programs for newcomers. Successfully addressing irregular migration is likely to require considerable coordination and cost-sharing among EU member states.

Suggested Citation

  • Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2016. "Irregular immigration in the European Union," Working Papers 1603, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1603
    DOI: 10.24149/wp1603
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2016/wp1603.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu & Pinto, Santiago M., 2017. "Unauthorized immigration and fiscal competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 283-305.
    2. repec:eee:regeco:v:67:y:2017:i:c:p:119-134 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ryan Edwards & Francesc Ortega, 2016. "The Economic Contribution of Unauthorized Workers: An Industry Analysis," NBER Working Papers 22834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Irregular migration; European Union; migration policy; refugees; asylum seekers;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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