Migration, Co-Ordination Failures and EU Enlargement

60 Pages Posted: 25 May 2005

See all articles by Tito Boeri

Tito Boeri

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Herbert Brücker

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

European migration policies are characterised by a fundamental paradox: they are getting tighter and tighter just while public opinion is becoming more favourable to migrants and the immobility of European citizens expands the scope for spatial arbitrage, accruing the benefits, of immigration. In this paper we consider two possible explanations for this puzzle. At first, based on a computable general equilibrium model, we evaluate whether migration to rigid labour markets a-la European involves cost, which are neglected by economic theory. Our results suggest that the economic benefits from international migration are, at a GDP gain of 0.2-0.3% at a migration of 1% of the labour force, but that natives in the receiving countries may lose out especially when generous unemployment benefits are provided to the migrants. Then, we evaluate effects of co-ordination failures in the setting of national migration policies, documenting that a race-to-the-top in migration restrictions has indeed occurred in the case of the Eastern Enlargement of the EU and has involved significant diversion of migration from more restrictive to less restrictive countries. Finally we discuss two potential ways to invert the trend towards stricter barriers to migration, namely i) restricting access to welfare and ii) adopting an EU-wide migration policy.

Keywords: Migration, enlargement, welfare door

JEL Classification: J61, F16, F2

Suggested Citation

Boeri, Tito and Brücker, Herbert, Migration, Co-Ordination Failures and EU Enlargement (May 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=728963

Tito Boeri (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Herbert Brücker

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
402
Abstract Views
2,680
rank
87,131
PlumX Metrics