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10 Years After: EU Enlargement, Closed Borders, and Migration to Germany

  • Elsner, Benjamin

    ()

    (IZA)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()

    (University of Bonn)

We study how the EU enlargement in 2004 and the Great Recession in the late 2000s have shaped the scale and composition of migration flows from the New Member States to Germany. We demonstrate that immigration increased substantially despite the restrictions on the German labor market, and that net flows decreased to zero at the outset of the recession. The cohorts arriving after 2004 had on average a lower education than the previous arrival cohort, but the wage gap compared to Germans became narrower over time. Almost 10 years after EU enlargement, we re-assess the transitional arrangements, and argue that Germany would have been better off, had it immediately opened its labor market. Finally, the Great recession allows us to study how effective migration within the EU is as an adjustment mechanism. Our data clearly show an increase in immigration from countries that were hit by the crisis, although the annual net flows are still too small to significantly reduce unemployment in the countries hit by the crisis.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7130.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Migration 10 Years After: EU Enlargement, Closed Borders, and Migration to Germany' in: M. Kahanec and K.F. Zimmermann (eds.): Labor Migration, EU Enlargement, and the Great Recession, Springer: Berlin, et al. 2016, 85 - 101
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7130
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IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

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  1. Brenke, Karl & Yuksel, Mutlu & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "EU Enlargement under Continued Mobility Restrictions: Consequences for the German Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 4055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. D'Amuri, Francesco & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Peri, Giovanni, 2010. "The labor market impact of immigration in Western Germany in the 1990s," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 550-570, May.
  3. Matloob Piracha & Florin Vadean, 2013. "Migrant educational mismatch and the labor market," Chapters, in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 9, pages 176-192 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  4. Herbert Brücker & Elke J. Jahn, 2011. "Migration and Wage‐setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113, pages 286-317, 06.
  5. Elsner, Benjamin, 2012. "Does Emigration Benefit the Stayers? Evidence from EU Enlargement," IZA Discussion Papers 6843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Amelie F. Constant & Olga Nottmeyer & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2013. "The economics of circular migration," Chapters, in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 3, pages 55-74 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  7. Elsner, Benjamin, 2011. "Emigration and Wages: The EU Enlargement Experiment," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48716, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Ulf Rinne & Klaus Zimmermann, 2012. "Another economic miracle? The German labor market and the Great Recession," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
  9. Timo Baas & Herbert Brücker, 2011. "The macroeconomic consequences of migration diversion: Evidence for Germany and the UK," EcoMod2011 3287, EcoMod.
  10. Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "International Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 3450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2009. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0918, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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