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Cyclical dimensions of labour mobility after EU enlargement


  • Alan Ahearne
  • Herbert Brücker

    (Institute for Employment Research in Nürnberg, University of Bamberg)

  • Zsolt Darvas
  • Jakob von Weizsäcker


This paper explores the influence of the economic cycle on labour mobility within the EU, focusing on the likely impact of the present economic crisis. To do so, we use an econometrically calibrated simulation and a case study of Ireland. We find that, in the short run, the crisis is likely to lead to a somewhat lower stock of migrants from the new member states in the EU15 than would have been the case without the crisis on account of diminished job opportunities for migrants. By contrast, in the longer run the crisis might lead to a moderate increase in migration from some of the new member states compared to what would have been the case without the crisis. The latter is driven by the observation that the crisis may have undermined the economic growth model of some of the new member states, thereby slowing down their economic catching-up process.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Ahearne & Herbert Brücker & Zsolt Darvas & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 2009. "Cyclical dimensions of labour mobility after EU enlargement," Working Papers 0902, Department of Mathematical Economics and Economic Analysis, Corvinus University of Budapest, revised 25 May 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:mkg:wpaper:0902

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barrett, Alan & Duffy, David, 2007. "Are Ireland’s Immigrants Integrating into its Labour Market?," IZA Discussion Papers 2838, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Dustmann, Christian & Kirchkamp, Oliver, 2002. "The optimal migration duration and activity choice after re-migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 351-372, April.
    3. Eichengreen, Barry, 1990. "Is Europe an Optimum Currency Area?," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt40m5g6pp, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    4. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
    5. Damm, Anna Piil & Rosholm, Michael, 2003. "Employment Effects of Dispersal Policies on Refugee Immigrants, Part I: Theory," IZA Discussion Papers 924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. repec:nsr:niesrd:292 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Herbert Brücker & Boriss Siliverstovs, 2006. "On the estimation and forecasting of international migration: how relevant is heterogeneity across countries?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 735-754, September.
    9. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2001. "Globalization and History: The Evolution of a Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650592, January.
    10. Zsolt Darvas & György Szapáry, 2008. "Euro Area Enlargement and Euro Adoption Strategies," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 304, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    11. Hatton, Timothy J, 1995. "A Model of U.K. Emigration, 1870-1913," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(3), pages 407-415, August.
    12. Alan Ahearne & Juan Delgado & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 2008. "A tail of two countries," Policy Briefs 6, Bruegel.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Fromentin & Olivier Damette & Benteng Zou, 2014. "The global economic crisis and the effect of immigration on the employment of native-born workers in Europe," CREA Discussion Paper Series 14-22, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.

    More about this item


    labour mobility; economic cycle; crisis; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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