A European mobility assistance scheme

Tito Boeri, Herbert Brücker, 22 April 2014

Migration from new member states to richer countries within the EU has raised concerns that immigrants tend to abuse the welfare state. This column argues that this is not the case, and suggests the construction of a mobility assistance scheme. This scheme should be financed by the EU itself, and it would allow immigrants to receive welfare benefits in the country they have paid taxes. Such a program would not hamper mobility or distort the incentives of immigrants. It would also have important political side effects.

Skilled immigration and US jobs: Firm-level evidence

Sari Pekkala Kerr, William Kerr, William Lincoln, 16 March 2014

Though skilled immigration is of great importance to the US, no consensus has been reached in the public discourse about its effects on citizen workers and economic growth. This column looks at a different perspective of this relationship. It explores the effect of skilled immigrants on the employment structures of US firms using employer-employee data. The results show the total skilled employment by the firm increases with increases in skilled immigrant employment. However, the employment expansion is greater for younger natives than for their older counterparts.

New evidence on the durability of social norms

John Helliwell, Shun Wang, Jinwen Xu, 12 March 2014

Social norms have been shown to have important effects on economic outcomes. This column discusses new evidence showing that social norms are deeply rooted in long-standing cultures, but do evolve in reaction to major changes. It draws on a fully global sample involving migrants in more than 130 countries, using seven waves of the Gallup World Poll.

The economic integration of forced migrants

Thomas Bauer, Sebastian Braun, Michael Kvasnicka, 24 February 2014

The economic literature has paid scarce attention to the tens of millions of people who are displaced by conflict or forcibly relocated. This column analyses outcomes for 12 million Germans relocated from central and eastern Europe following the second world war. Labour-market outcomes were generally negative, but positive for women relocated from rural areas. Interestingly, children of migrants made greater educational investments than their native counterparts.

Remittances and vulnerability in developing countries

Giulia Bettin, Andrea F Presbitero, Nikola Spatafora, 10 February 2014

Remittances are one of the most important financial flows to developing countries – more than three times the level of official development assistance. This column presents recent research on remittance flows from Italy. Their limited volatility and countercyclical behaviour with respect to macroeconomic conditions in the recipient country help mitigate developing countries’ vulnerability to external shocks. Better access to financial services for migrants can foster remittance flows.

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