Thursday, December 9, 2010

Employment protection and migration

One big big aspect of resistance to immigration has to do with how immigrant might exploit social safety nets. One of them is employment protection. Thus a natural question is to ask whether emigrants choose to move to countries where jobs are better protected. Theoretically it is not that obvious, as employment protection tends to depress wages, as workers bear the cost of protection, and reduce the probability to find employment, but it could also go the other way if it leads to higher bargaining power for workers.

Rémi Bazillier and Yasser Moullan try to sort this out empirically and come to the conclusion that it is really the protection differential between sending and receiving country that matters: migrants like to enjoy the same kind of protection as at home. This is particularly the case for high-skill workers, the ones you actually want to attract. Finally, Bazillier and Moullan also find that employment protection in receiving countries matters more than in sending countries.

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