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Measuring the Impact of the Movement of Labor Using a Model of Bilateral Migration Flows

Listed author(s):
  • Walmsley, Terrie
  • Alan Winters
  • Syud Amer Ahmed

The economics literature increasingly recognizes the importance of migration and its ties with many other aspects of development and policy. Examples include the role of international remittances (Harrison et al, 2003) or those immigrant-links underpinning the migration-trade nexus (Gould, 1994). More recently Walmsley and Winters (2005) utilised a Global Migration model (GMig) to demonstrate that lifting restrictions on the movement of natural persons would significantly increase global welfare with the majority of benefits accruing to developing countries. Although an important result, the lack of bilateral labor migration data forced Walmsley and Winters (2005) to make approximations in important areas and naturally precluded their tracking bilateral migration agreements. In a new technical paper, Walmsley, Winters, and Ahmed incorporate bilateral labor flows into the GMig model developed by Walmsley and Winters (2005) to examine the impact of liberalizing the temporary movement of natural persons. Quotas on both skilled and unskilled temporary labor in the developed economies are increased by 3% of their labor forces. This additional labor is supplied by the developing economies. The results confirm that restrictions on the movement of natural persons impose significant costs on nearly all countries, and that those on unskilled labor are more burdensome than those on skilled labor. Developed economies increasing their skilled and unskilled labor forces by 3% raise the real incomes of their permanent residents. Most of those gains arise from the lifting of quotas on unskilled labor. On average the permanent residents of developing countries also gain in terms of real incomes from sending unskilled and skilled labor, albeit the gains are lower for skilled labor. While results differ across developing economies, most gain as a result of the higher remittances sent home.

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Paper provided by Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University in its series GTAP Technical Papers with number 2529.

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Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:gta:techpp:2529
Note: GTAP Technical Paper No. 28
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