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The Impact of Liberalizing Labor Mobility in the Pacific Region


  • Walmsley, Terrie
  • Ahmed, Syud Amer
  • Parsons, Christopher


Due to the lack of political consensus at the previous General Agreement on Trade on Services (GATS), negotiations on the temporary movement of natural persons (Mode 4) have stagnated. The growth in the economic literature surrounding this issue has also been lackluster; despite the large welfare gains that have been demonstrated to result from relatively small multilateral liberalizations on such transitory movements. This paper implements a CGE model of bilateral migration flows to quantify the benefits of liberalising GATS Mode 4 in the Pacific region. The results indicate that an increase in the labor forces of Australia and New Zealand from elsewhere within the Pacific region would raise welfare in both Australia and New Zealand. However the results show that while the Pacific Islands economies could gain substantially from the movement of unskilled workers, the loss of scarce skilled workers could lead to significant declines in the welfare of those remaining. Agreements regarding the movement of unskilled labor could therefore potentially constitute significant development policies which warrant further attention from policy makers.

Suggested Citation

  • Walmsley, Terrie & Ahmed, Syud Amer & Parsons, Christopher, 2005. "The Impact of Liberalizing Labor Mobility in the Pacific Region," GTAP Working Papers 1874, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:1874
    Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 31

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2014. "Well-being from Work in the Pacific Island Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18642, March.
    2. Cristina Terra & Tania El Kallab, 2014. "French Colonial Trade Patterns: European Settlement," THEMA Working Papers 2014-27, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. Jacques Poot & Anna Strutt, 2010. "International Trade Agreements and International Migration," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(12), pages 1923-1954, December.

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