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Sizing It Up: Labor Migration Lessons of the EU Enlargement to 27

Author

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  • Constant, Amelie F.

    () (Temple University)

Abstract

While economists were pointing out the advantages of the EU enlargement, politicians and policymakers were raising grave concerns about the significant political and economic differences between the newcomer states (EU12) and the "old Europe" of EU15. The major point of apprehension was related to the labor markets. Visceral fear rendered more than one in two Europeans to believe that the EU enlargement contributed to job losses in their own country. Some EU15 member states opted for transitional arrangements and did not allow labor mobility from the EU12. This chapter reviews the achievements of the first five years of the EU27 and assesses and evaluates the effectiveness of the enforced policies while it identifies winner and losers. Overall, the EU enlargement did not produce any negative effects or disruptions in the labor markets of the Member States. All three agents, the migrants, the receiving countries, and the sending countries gained from labor mobility. The EU15 countries with closed door policy lost in high-skilled labor and their labor markets experienced a delayed adjustment that overlapped with the global crisis and exacerbated negativity. As self-employed labor was not under the same mobility Act, the self-employed were able to move to the country they were needed and open successful businesses. The global crisis tainted the rosy results of the enlargement and left the EU27 vulnerable to shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Constant, Amelie F., 2011. "Sizing It Up: Labor Migration Lessons of the EU Enlargement to 27," IZA Discussion Papers 6119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Corrado Giulietti & Martin Guzi & Martin Kahanec & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "Unemployment benefits and immigration: evidence from the EU," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 24-38, March.
    2. Bonin, Holger & Eichhorst, Werner & Florman, Christer & Hansen, Mette Okkels & Skiöld, Lena & Stuhler, Jan & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos & Thomasen, Henrik & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "Geographic Mobility in the European Union: Optimising its Economic and Social Benefits," IZA Research Reports 19, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
    4. Michael A. Clemens, 2011. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 83-106, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corrado Giulietti & Jackline Wahba, 2013. "Welfare migration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 26, pages 489-504 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Ingmar Rövekamp, 2014. "Vergleich von prognostizierter und tatsächlicher Migration nach Deutschland nach der EU-Osterweiterung," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 21(06), pages 20-26, December.
    3. Åslund, Olof & Engdahl, Mattias, 2013. "Open borders, transport links and local labor markets," Working Paper Series 2013:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor mobility; remittances; EU enlargement; international migration; wages; labor policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J6 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances

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