Mr. Shekhar Aiyar, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Nicoletta Batini, Mr. Helge Berger, Ms. Enrica Detragiache, Allan Dizioli, Mr. Christian H Ebeke, Ms. Huidan Huidan Lin, Ms. Linda Kaltani, Mr. Sebastian Sosa, Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo, and Petia Topalova
Against the background of political turmoil in the Middle-East, Europe faces an unprecedented surge in asylum applications. In analyzing the economic impact of this inflow, this paper draws from the experience of previous economic migrants and refugees, mindful of the fact that the characteristics of economic migrants can be different from refugees. In the short-run, additional public expenditure will provide a small positive impact on GDP, concentrated in the main destination countries of Germany, Sweden and Austria. Over the longer-term, depending on the speed and success of the integration of refugees in the labor market, the increase in the labor force can have a more lasting impact on growth and the public finances. Here good policies will make an important difference. These include lowering barriers to labor markets for refugees, for example through wage subsidies to employers, and, in particular, reducing legal barriers to labor market participation during asylum process, removing obstacles to entrepreneurship/self-employment, providing job training and job search assistance, as well as language skills. While native workers often have legitimate concerns about the impact of immigrants on wages and employment, past experience indicates that any adverse effects are limited and temporary.
Data and anecdotal evidence suggest that Japan is suffering from labor shortages, which are large in an international perspective, have a negative impact on potential growth, and reduce the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal stimulus. This paper focuses on policy options to ease Japan’s labor shortages. In particular, we focus on possible measures to increase reliance on foreign labor. Other policy recommendations to deal with shortages include policies aimed at increasing female labor participation, encouraging wage growth, increasing investment, as well as training and other active labor market policies.
Mr. Waikei R Lam, Xiaoguang Liu, and Mr. Alfred Schipke
As China implements reforms under the “new normal,” maintaining stability in the labor market is a priority. The country’s demography and labor dynamics are changing, after benefitting in past decades from ample cheap labor. So far, the labor market appears to be resilient, even as growth slows, driven in part by expansion of the services sector. Migrant flows and possible labor hoarding in overcapacity sectors may also help explain this. Yet, while the latter two factors help serve as shock absorbers— contributing to labor market stability in the short term—if they persist, they may delay the needed adjustment process, contributing to an inefficient allocation of resources and curtailing productivity gains. This paper quantifies to what extent structural trends and the reform pace affect employment growth under the new normal. Delays in reform implementation would weaken growth prospects in the medium term, running the risk that job creation will fall below policy targets, leading to labor market pressures in the future. In contrast, successful transition might require faster reforms, including in the overcapacity and state-owned enterprise sectors, supported by well targeted social safety nets.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This chapter discusses the impact of global recession on the working population and looks at the future of work in the global economy from a variety of angles. IMF economist Prakash Loungani leads off with an overview of the global jobs landscape and examines the reasons behind the slow recovery of jobs in the wake of the global financial crisis. The chapter also highlights an argument for a jobs- and wage-led global recovery, while IMF researchers probe the relationship between declining trade union membership and inequality.
Ms. Prachi Mishra, Giovanni Facchini, and Anna Maria Mayda
While anecdotal evidence suggests that interest groups play a key role in shaping immigration policy, there is no systematic empirical analysis of this issue. In this paper, we construct an industry-level dataset for the United States, by combining information on the number of temporary work visas with data on lobbying activity associated with immigration. We find robust evidence that both pro- and anti-immigration interest groups play a statistically significant and economically relevant role in shaping migration across sectors. Barriers to migration are lower in sectors in which business interest groups incur larger lobby expenditures and higher in sectors where labor unions are more important.
Tigran A. Melkonyan, Mr. David A. Grigorian, and J. Scott Shonkwiler
Empirical studies that use self-reported data on remittances to measure the latter's impact on microeconomic incentives mostly ignore the potential errors associated with reporting/measurement issues. An econometric procedure to control for these errors is developed and applied to household-level data from Armenia. We find evidence of systematic under-reporting of remittances. After controlling for this, we find a strong negative impact of remittances on incentives to work.