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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Walmsley, Terrie & Alan Winters & Syud Amer Ahmed, 2007. "Measuring the Impact of the Movement of Labor Using a Model of Bilateral Migration Flows," GTAP Technical Papers 2529, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:techpp:2529
    Note: GTAP Technical Paper No. 28

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Terrie L. Walmsley & Thomas W. Hertel, 2001. "China's Accession to the WTO: Timing is Everything," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(8), pages 1019-1049, September.
    2. Harrison, W Jill & Pearson, K R, 1996. "Computing Solutions for Large General Equilibrium Models Using GEMPACK," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 9(2), pages 83-127, May.
    3. Ianchovichina, Elena, 2001. "Trade Liberalization in China’s Accession to WTO," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 421-445.
    4. Hertel, Thomas, 1997. "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, number 7685.
    5. Malcolm, Gerard, 1998. "Adjusting Tax Rates in the GTAP Data Base," GTAP Technical Papers 315, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    6. Elena Ianchovichina & Will Martin, 2004. "Impacts of China's Accession to the World Trade Organization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(1), pages 3-27.
    7. Olivier Cadot & Jaime de Melo & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2015. "The Protectionist Bias of Duty Drawbacks: Evidence from Mercosur," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 15, pages 359-380 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Aguiar, Angel H. & Walmsley, Terrie L., 2014. "The importance of timing in the U.S. response to undocumented immigrants: A recursive dynamic approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 253-262.
    2. Hertel, Thomas, 2013. "Global Applied General Equilibrium Analysis Using the Global Trade Analysis Project Framework," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    3. Terrie Walmsley & Angel Aguiar & Syud Amer Ahmed, 2017. "Labour Migration and Economic Growth in East and South-East Asia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 116-139, January.
    4. Angel Aguiar & Badri Narayanan & Robert McDougall, 2016. "An Overview of the GTAP 9 Data Base," Journal of Global Economic Analysis, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, vol. 1(1), pages 181-208, June.
    5. Ahmed, S. Amer & Vargas Da Cruz,Marcio Jose & Quillin,Bryce Ramsey & Schellekens,Philip, 2016. "Demographic change and development : a global typology," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7893, The World Bank.
    6. Sapovadia, Vrajlal, 2016. "Migration as Subtle Catalyst: Institution Building in India," MPRA Paper 68850, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ken Itakura, . "Assessing the Economic Effects of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership on ASEAN Member States," Chapters, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

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