Storm Clouds Ahead? Migration and Labor Force Participation Rates in Europe

25 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018

See all articles by Benjamin Hilgenstock

Benjamin Hilgenstock

Institute of International Finance

Zsoka Koczan

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: June 2018


The paper examines the potential effects of international migration on labor force participation in advanced economies in Europe. It documents that migration played a significant role in alleviating aging pressures on labor supply by affecting the age composition of receiving countries' populations. However, micro-level analysis also points to differences in average educational levels, as well as differences in the effects of any given level of education on participation across migrants and natives. Difficulties related to the recognition of educational qualifications appear to be associated with smaller effects of education on the odds of participation for migrants, especially women.

Keywords: Migration, Labor force participation, Labor supply, Aging, Developed countries, Demographic Trends and Forecasts, Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

JEL Classification: J11, J21, J23, J61

Suggested Citation

Hilgenstock, Benjamin and Koczan, Zsoka, Storm Clouds Ahead? Migration and Labor Force Participation Rates in Europe (June 2018). IMF Working Paper No. 18/148, Available at SSRN:

Benjamin Hilgenstock (Contact Author)

Institute of International Finance ( email )

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Suite 800E
Washington, DC 20005-4770
United States

Zsoka Koczan

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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