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.
Workers' remittances are often argued to have a tendency to move countercyclically with the GDP in recipient countries since migrant workers are expected to remit more during down cycles of economic activity back home. Yet, how much to remit is a complex decision involving other factors, and different variables driving remittance behavior are differently affected by the state of economic activity over the business cycle. This paper investigates the behavior of workers' remittances flows into 12 developing countries over their respective business cycles during 1976-2003 and finds that countercyclicality of receipts is not commonly observed across these countries.
Mr. Milan M Cuc, Mr. Erik J. Lundback, and Mr. Edgardo Ruggiero
Labor migration and remittances, which have increasingly become a part of the global landscape, have profound economic and social consequences. Moldova, a small low-income country where an estimated one-third of the economically active population has been working abroad, is an interesting illustration of this trend. Drawing on household survey data, this Special Issues paper explains why Moldovan workers go abroad and how their remittances are used. With this background, it provides insights into policy challenges of coping with, and maximizing benefits from, international labor mobility and the large inflows of remittances.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the macroeconomic impact of workers’ remittances on Moldova. The paper focuses on Moldova’s labor emigration since the late-1990s using survey data designed to shed light on the economic and social consequences of migration. The survey results are broadly consistent both with the findings from balance-of-payments data and with the stylized facts in the labor migration literature. The paper also examines various indicators to assess the appropriateness of the current exchange rate level.