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Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Working Paper 9: What attracts highly skilled migration to Europe?

by Héctor Cebolla-Boado and María Miyar-Busto


Abstract: This paper analyzes the potential of a number of pull factors (unrelated to immigration policies) in attracting highly skilled migrants in 18 European countries. To do so we built a unique dataset combining information on the flows by level of skills from the European Labor Force Survey (Eurostat) with a large list of proxies of pull factors obtained from different OECD databases. Specifically, using country fixed effects we predict the absolute number of migrants with tertiary education credentials arriving over time (between 1999 and 2013). The list of pull factors whose effects we study covers different dimensions of returns to education and the welfare configurations of the selected countries. Our analysis reveals that wages are, by and large, the most important factor attracting skilled migration flows. Other indicators of factors such as the rate of unemployment or the degree to which the economy is innovative are much less relevant. The welfare magnet hypothesis is also confirmed. Social expenditure attracts more skilled migrants There are also bases to argue that fiscal pressure shrinks the flow of the most wanted migrants, particularly when they do not necessarily have the intention of staying in the long term.

Working Paper 5: Returns to human capital in France, Spain and the UK using individual level data

by Héctor Cebolla-Boado, María Miyar-Busto and Jacobo Muñoz-Comet


Abstract: In this paper, we look at differences in how migrants from different skill profiles obtain returns to their education once in their destination societies (France, Spain and the UK). We develop a hypothesis about how migrants with low, mid or high educational credentials differ from natives and test them using PIAAC data (OECD). Our research contributes to the literature on both immigrant integration and migrant-native labour market inequality. Being able to obtain the most from one’s educational investments is key to describing the market conditions under which high skilled migrants interact with their host societies, and ultimately to understanding how different the pull factors are across destination countries. The paper offers two clear conclusions. The United Kingdom appears as the single most attractive destination for the most educated migrants because it minimizes the disadvantage in the labour market. France lags somewhat behind the UK,  somewhere close to Spain.

Working Paper 4: Inventory of programs aimed at attracting High-Skilled migration to the EU

by Héctor Cebolla-Boado, Gemma Pinyol, Mélanie Jolivet-Guetta, Tatiana Eremenko, Erica Consterdine and Yoan Molinero Gerbeau


Abstract: This report concentrates on four TEMPER country destinations (Italy, France, Spain and the UK) to explore the policies fostering the migration of high skilled immigrants (HSM). The report succinctly reviews the literature on the benefits of HSM and the policy innovations existing internationally. The country analysis is qualitative and does not refer to demographic dynamics. It shows that while HSM policies are largely developed and sophisticated in the UK than in France and, specially, in Spain and Italy, there is some space for convergence across countries. Despite its evident benefits, HSM policies are not a-cyclical and have suffered a number of adjustments during the economic downturn. The general approach to defining skills based on education has been overcome in all three countries. Only the UK and France have taken a decisive step forward in developing supply driven policy schemes, while Spain and Italy remains strictly attach to an underdeveloped demand-driven model.