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The impact of Medium-Skilled immigration: A general equilibrium approach

Joan Muysken (), Ehsan Vallizadeh () and Thomas Ziesemer ()
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Joan Muysken: School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University
Ehsan Vallizadeh: School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

No 2012-055, MERIT Working Papers from United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the skill composition of migration flows on the host country’s labour market in a specific-factors-two-sector model with heterogeneous labour (low-, medium-, and high-skilled). We assume price-setting behaviour in both manufacturing and services sectors. The low- and medium-skilled labour markets are characterized by frictions due to wage bargaining. Moreover, we assume bumping down of unemployed medium-skilled workers into low-skilled service jobs whereas endogenous benefits create an interdependency between the two bargaining processes. Particular attention is paid to medium-skilled migration which enables us to augment the literature by replicating important stylized facts regarding medium skills, such as i) the interaction between immigration, low-skilled unemployment and medium-skilled over-qualification, ii) the polarization effect where both lowand high-skilled wages increase relative to the medium-skilled. The model is calibrated using German data. The key findings are: (i) a perfectly balanced migration has a neutral impact on the receiving economy due to international capital flows; (ii) immigration of medium-skilled labour together with some high-skilled labour lowers the low-skilled unemployment rate and has a positive effect on output per capita; (iii) migration of only medium-skilled labour has a neutral GDP per capita effect.

Keywords: Medium-Skilled Migration; Wage and Price Setting; Specific Factors Model; Unemployment; Over-qualification; Wage Polarization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 J51 J52 J61 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Working Paper: The impact of medium-skilled immigration: a general equilibrium approach (2012) Downloads
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