The labour market impacts of immigration in Europe

Authored by: Ravi Parekh , Carlos Vargas-Silva

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews the evidence on the labour market impacts of immigration putting particular emphasis on the case of Europe. The review reveals several interesting aspects. First, the literature is heavily concentrated in Western Europe. Second, the results depend on the flexibility of the labour market in question. This differentiates Europe from other parts of the world as there is a very large degree of variation in labour market regulation, profoundly altering the ways that labour markets react to immigration even amongst countries that are otherwise similar in other types of regulations (e.g. among members of the EU). This may also explain some of the diverse and occasionally contrasting results, alongside factors like the time period considered, nature of migration flows and other economic conditions. Third, studies find that natives tend to upgrade occupationally in response to immigration, but earlier migrants tend to be negatively impacted. This suggests some labour market complementary between migrants and natives of the same skill level, and could relate to the multilingual nature of Europe.

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