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Low- and high-skill migration flows: free mobility versus other determinants

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We investigate what economic factors drive international migration of workers to France and how their influence varies across different skill levels under restrictive policies and through time as free mobility is implemented. We find that neither incentives nor policy parameters are similar across skill levels. Migration drivers such as a network of compatriots and relative incomes influence the movement of low-skill workers. High-skill individuals however move only according to financial opportunities be they standard of living or returns to skill within a class. We conclude that competition for high-skill workers among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries requires more than free mobility to successfully attract high-skill migrants even for a developed country such as France.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Policy,Simon Fraser University, Vancouver,British Columbia, Canada 2: Department of Economics,Simon Fraser University, 8888 University DriveBurnaby,British Columbia, V5A 1S6 Canada

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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