European Economic Integration: Limits and Prospects

By Alexis Jacquemin; Miroslav N. Jovanovic | Go to book overview

10

LABOUR MOBILITY

I

INTRODUCTION

Mobility of labour or labour responsiveness to demand has been a significant facet of economic life for a long period of time. Labour has not only moved among regions, but also among economic sectors. In the late 1950s, agriculture employed around 20 per cent of the labour force in most industrialized economies. In the 1990s, agriculture employs less than 5 per cent of the labour force in these countries.

The theoretical assumption that labour has a greater degree of mobility within a country than among countries may not always be substantiated. Inter-country mobility of labour between Ireland and other developed English speaking countries was, perhaps, much greater than internal Irish labour mobility. None the less, labour mobility should not always be taken in its ‘technical’ meaning of pure movements of persons from place A to place B. One has to bear in mind that these are the people that move with their skills, knowledge, experiences and organizational competence.

Outside of common markets, international labour migration is characterized by a legal asymmetry. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 13, denies the right to the country of origin to close its borders to bona fide emigrants. This country may not control the emigration flows according to its interest. The country of destination, however, has an undisputed right to restrict the entry of immigrants, although this is not explicitly mentioned in the Declaration. In these circumstances migration flows are determined by demand. So, the will to move is a necessary condition for labour migration, but it is not a sufficient one.

This chapter is structured as follows. Sections II and III consider the costs and benefits of labour migration for countries of origin and countries of destination, respectively. Section IV deals with labour mobility in the EU. The conclusion is that labour migration will be relatively high on the agenda over the coming decades because of unfavourable demographic trends in the EU and various push factors in the neighbouring regions.


II

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

If political instability and economic problems (push determinants) overcome the propensity to stay in the homeland (pull factors), then there are several reasons for international migration of labour. The most significant ones include the possibility of finding a job which may be able to provide improved living standards, as well as

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European Economic Integration: Limits and Prospects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents vii
  • Figures viii
  • Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiv
  • Acknowledgements xviii
  • Abbreviations xix
  • 1 - The Origin of the European Union 1
  • 2 - Monetary Policy 42
  • 3 - Fiscal Policy and the Budget 71
  • 4 - Common Agricultural Policy 98
  • 5 - Competition Policy 130
  • 6 - Industrial Policy in Manufacturing and Services 168
  • 7 - Trade Policy 215
  • 8 - Regional Policy 287
  • 9 - Capital Mobility 309
  • 10 - Labour Mobility 333
  • 11 - Social Policy 342
  • 12 - Environment Policy 353
  • 13 - Transport Policy 361
  • 14 - Conclusion 367
  • Bibliography 371
  • Index 382
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