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The impact of Medium-Skilled immigration: A general equilibrium approach

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  • Muysken, Joan

    (School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University)

  • Vallizadeh, Ehsan

    (School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University)

  • Ziesemer, Thomas

    (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG, and School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University)

Abstract

This paper analyses the impact of the skill composition of migration flows on the host country’s labour market in a specific-factors-two-sector model with heterogeneous labour (low-, medium-, and high-skilled). We assume price-setting behaviour in both manufacturing and services sectors. The low- and medium-skilled labour markets are characterized by frictions due to wage bargaining. Moreover, we assume bumping down of unemployed medium-skilled workers into low-skilled service jobs whereas endogenous benefits create an interdependency between the two bargaining processes. Particular attention is paid to medium-skilled migration which enables us to augment the literature by replicating important stylized facts regarding medium skills, such as i) the interaction between immigration, low-skilled unemployment and medium-skilled over-qualification, ii) the polarization effect where both lowand high-skilled wages increase relative to the medium-skilled. The model is calibrated using German data. The key findings are: (i) a perfectly balanced migration has a neutral impact on the receiving economy due to international capital flows; (ii) immigration of medium-skilled labour together with some high-skilled labour lowers the low-skilled unemployment rate and has a positive effect on output per capita; (iii) migration of only medium-skilled labour has a neutral GDP per capita effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Muysken, Joan & Vallizadeh, Ehsan & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2012. "The impact of Medium-Skilled immigration: A general equilibrium approach," MERIT Working Papers 2012-055, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2012055
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medium-Skilled Migration; Wage and Price Setting; Specific Factors Model; Unemployment; Over-qualification; Wage Polarization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J52 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Dispute Resolution: Strikes, Arbitration, and Mediation
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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