European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials

35 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2004

See all articles by Klaus F. Zimmermann

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

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

European Union economies are pressed by (i) a demographic change that induces population ageing and a decline of the workforce, and (ii) a split labour market that is characterized by high levels of unemployment for low-skilled people and a simultaneous shortage of skilled workers. This lack of flexible high-skilled workers and the ageing process has created the image of an immobile labour force and the eurosklerosis phenomenon. In such a situation, an economically motivated immigration policy at the European level can generate welfare improvements. A selective policy that discourages unskilled migrants and attracts skilled foreign workers will vitalize the labour market, foster growth and increase demand for unskilled native workers. The paper summarizes the available economic insights, and suggests (i) the need to harmonize the single-country migration policies across Europe and (ii) that the European Union needs to become an active player on the international labour markets.

Keywords: labour mobility, migration, skilled migration, unskilled migration, migration policy, integration policy

JEL Classification: J61, J21, J68, J82, F22

Suggested Citation

Zimmermann, Klaus F., European Labour Mobility: Challenges and Potentials (November 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=626021

Klaus F. Zimmermann (Contact Author)

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Bonn
Germany

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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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Maastricht, 6211TC
Netherlands

Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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Maastricht, 6200MD
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University of Bonn

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Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Journal of Population Economics

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D-69121 Heidelberg
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