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Migration, Co-ordination Failures and EU Enlargement

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  • Boeri, Tito

    (Bocconi University)

  • Brücker, Herbert

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)

Abstract

European migration policies are characterised by a fundamental paradox: they are getting tighter and tighter just while public opinion is becoming more favourable to migrants and the immobility of European citizens expands the scope for spatial arbitrage, accruing the benefits, of immigration. In this paper we consider two possible explanations for this puzzle. At first, based on a computable general equilibrium model, we evaluate whether migration to "rigid labour markets" a-la European involves cost, which are neglected by economic theory. Our results suggest that the economic benefits from international migration are, at a GDP gain of 0.2-0.3% at a migration of 1% of the labour force, but that natives in the receiving countries may lose out especially when generous unemployment benefits are provided to the migrants. Then, we evaluate effects of co-ordination failures in the setting of national migration policies, documenting that a race-to-the-top in migration restrictions has indeed occurred in the case of the Eastern Enlargement of the EU and has involved significant diversion of migration from more restrictive to less restrictive countries. Finally we discuss two potential ways to invert the trend towards stricter barriers to migration, namely i) restricting access to welfare and ii) adopting an EU-wide migration policy.

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  • Boeri, Tito & Brücker, Herbert, 2005. "Migration, Co-ordination Failures and EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 1600, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1600
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    2. Peter Huber & Gabriele Tondl, 2012. "Migration and regional convergence in the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 439-460, November.
    3. M. Moretto & Sergio Vergalli, 2008. "Migration dynamics," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 223-265, April.
    4. Sergio Vergalli, 2011. "Entry and Exit Strategies in Migration Dynamics," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 362-389, December.
    5. Pablo Swedberg, 2010. "The impact of education and host language skills on the labor market outcomes of immigrants in Spain," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5, in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 41, pages 798-824, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    6. Gordon Hanson, 2010. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 185-207.
    7. Barbara Dietz, 2010. "Migration and Remittances in Macedonia : A Review," Working Papers 281, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    8. Joan Muysken & Ehsan Vallizadeh & Thomas Ziesemer, 2015. "Migration, Unemployment, and Skill Downgrading," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 117(2), pages 403-451, April.
    9. Iordache Mihaela & Matei Mihaela, 2020. "Explaining Recent Romanian Migration: A Modified Gravity Model with Panel Data," Journal of Social and Economic Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 9(1), pages 46-64, August.
    10. Ms. Dora M Iakova, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Migration from the New European Union Member States to the United Kingdom," IMF Working Papers 2007/061, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Dobruszkes, Frédéric, 2009. "New Europe, new low-cost air services," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 423-432.
    12. Ray Barrell & John Fitzgerald & Rebecca Riley, 2010. "EU Enlargement and Migration: Assessing the Macroeconomic Impacts," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 373-395, March.
    13. Hanson, Gordon H., 2010. "International Migration and the Developing World," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Dani Rodrik & Mark Rosenzweig (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 4363-4414, Elsevier.
    14. Kahanec, Martin & Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 4230, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    welfare door; enlargement; migration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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