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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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1600
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    Cited by:

    1. Gordon H. Hanson, 2009. "The Economic Consequences of the International Migration of Labor," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 179-208, May.
    2. Gordon Hanson, 2010. "The Governance of Migration Policy," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 185-207.
    3. 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).
    4. Sergio Vergalli, 2011. "Entry and Exit Strategies in Migration Dynamics," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 362-389, December.
    5. Ray Barrell & John Fitzgerald & Rebecca Riley, 2010. "EU Enlargement and Migration: Assessing the Macroeconomic Impacts," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 373-395, March.
    6. Dora M Iakova, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Migration from the New European Union Member States to the United Kingdom," IMF Working Papers 07/61, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Hanson, Gordon H., 2010. "International Migration and the Developing World," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    8. Kahanec, Martin & Zaiceva, Anzelika & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Lessons from Migration after EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 4230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    welfare door; enlargement; migration;

    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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