Migration in an Enlarged EU: A Challenging Solution?

59 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2009

See all articles by Martin Kahanec

Martin Kahanec

IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Central European University; Central European Labour Studies Institute

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

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Date Written: March 2009

Abstract

The 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union were unprecedented in a number of economic and policy aspects. This essay provides a broad and in-depth account of the effects of the post-enlargement migration flows on the receiving as well as sending countries in three broader areas: labour markets, welfare systems, and growth and competitiveness. Our analysis of the available literature and empirical evidence shows that (i) EU enlargement had a significant impact on migration flows from new to old member states, (ii) restrictions applied in some of the countries did not stop migrants from coming but changed the composition of the immigrants, (iii) any negative effects in the labour market on wages or employment are hard to detect, (iv) post-enlargement migration contributes to growth prospects of the EU, (v) these immigrants are strongly attached to the labour market, and (vi) they are quite unlikely to be among welfare recipients. These findings point out the difficulties that restrictions on the free movement of workers bring about.

Keywords: EU Eastern enlargement, free movement of workers, migration, migration effects

JEL Classification: F22, J16, J61

Suggested Citation

Kahanec, Martin and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Migration in an Enlarged EU: A Challenging Solution? (March 2009). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7200. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1356429

Martin Kahanec

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Central European University ( email )

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Hungary

Central European Labour Studies Institute ( email )

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Slovakia

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Klaus F. Zimmermann (Contact Author)

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
Germany

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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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Netherlands

Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Bonn

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Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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United Kingdom

Journal of Population Economics

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