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

Author

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  • Elsner, Benjamin

    () (University College Dublin)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elsner, Benjamin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "10 Years After: EU Enlargement, Closed Borders, and Migration to Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 7130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Baas, Timo & Brücker, Herbert, 2012. "The macroeconomic consequences of migration diversion: Evidence for Germany and the UK," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 180-194.
    2. 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.
    3. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, March.
    4. Elsner, Benjamin, 2013. "Emigration and wages: The EU enlargement experiment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 154-163.
    5. Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2008. "International Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 3450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Benjamin Elsner, 2013. "Does emigration benefit the stayers? Evidence from EU enlargement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 531-553, April.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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).
    10. 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, June.
    11. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jauer, Julia & Liebig, Thomas & Martin, John P. & Puhani, Patrick A., 2014. "Migration as an adjustment mechanism in the crisis? A comparison of Europe and the United States," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-537, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    2. Brücker, Herbert & Bertoli, Simone & Fernández-Huertas Moraga, Jesús, 2013. "The European Crisis and Migration to Germany: Expectations and the Diversion of Migration Flows," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79693, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Magdalena M. Ulceluse, 2017. "Self-employment effects of restrictive immigration policies: the case of transitional arrangements in the EU," Discussion Papers 47, Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI).
    4. 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.
    5. Tara Sinclair & Mariano Mamertino, 2016. "Online Job Search and Migration Intentions Across EU Member States," Working Papers 2016-5, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    6. Lehmann, Hartmut & Razzolini, Tiziano & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2015. "Worker Flows and Labour Market Adjustment during the Great Recession: Evidence from a Large Shock," IZA Discussion Papers 9588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Hartmut Lehmann & Tiziano Razzolini & Anzelika Zaiceva, 2016. "Worker flows and Labour Market Adjustment during the Great Recession: Evidence from a Large Shock," Department of Economics 0083, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    8. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "The Mobility Challenge for Growth and Integration in Europe," IZA Policy Papers 69, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Kahanec, Martin & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2016. "Post-Enlargement Migration and the Great Recession in the E(M)U: Lessons and policy implications," MERIT Working Papers 066, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Milena Nikolova, 2015. "Migrant well-being after leaving transition economies," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 195-195, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    migration; EU enlargement; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration

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