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Labour Standards and Migration : do labour conditions matter ?


  • Rémi Bazillier

    () (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Yasser Moullan

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


We study in this paper the interactions between migration rates and the level of labour standards. We use an augmented version of the Grogger and Hanson (2008) model, adding the level of working conditions into the specification. Our hypothesis is that the differential of working conditions may be a complementary determinant of migration. In a first time, we test the influence of labour standards in countries of origin using a database on emigration rates built by Defoort (2006) for the period 1975-1995. For labour standards, we built an original index with a temporal dimension. We find that labour standards in the source countries does not have a significant impact on the probability of moving abroad. In a second time, we use a bilateral migration database built by Marfouk and Docquier (2004) in order to test the influence of labour standards in destination countries. If labour standards in the source countries do not have a significant impact on migration flows, level of labour conditions in destination countries have multiple effects on bilateral migration flows. Social protection or protection of collective relations have a positive impact on migration, while job and employment protection laws have the opposite effect. We also find that high-skilled workers are much more sensitive to social security benefits while low skilled workers are more attracted by a protective job and employment legislation.

Suggested Citation

  • Rémi Bazillier & Yasser Moullan, 2009. "Labour Standards and Migration : do labour conditions matter ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00404190, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00404190
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    2. Monnier, Jean-Marie & Vercellone, Carlo, 2007. "Travail, genre et protection sociale dans la transition vers le capitalisme cognitif," European Journal of Economic and Social Systems, Lavoisier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-35.
    3. Peter Howitt, 2004. "Endogenous Growth, Productivity and Economic Policy: A Progress Report," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 8, pages 3-15, Spring.
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    More about this item


    labour markets; labour standards; brain-drain; labour markets.; Migration; normes du travail; fuite des cerveaux; marchés du travail.;

    JEL classification:

    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business


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