New project looks at migration and labor supply in Europe and the role of cultural factors

June 5, 2019

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A major new research project launched this spring aims to create a framework for predicting the future effects of migration on labor supply in the European Union, notably by analyzing how different cultural factors affect the labor decisions of migrants.

Funded by the French National Research Agency, ANR, the international team of researchers*, led by Professor Simone Moriconi, an economist from IÉSEG School of Management in France, have outlined three key tasks for the four-year project.

Firstly, they will carry out an analysis of different potential migration policy scenarios in Europe. Then, they plan to use established empirical approaches to map the most important cultural values and preferences (many of them related to family behaviors) across different generations/cultures. The objective of this is to study the factors that determine the decisions made by migrants and natives in relation to the labor market and employment, and how these decisions interact. Finally, they will look to develop a quantitative theory that can be used to predict the impact of migration on labor supply, and which is based on a model that will incorporate cultural differences.

Watch a video about this project:

Professor Moriconi explains, “It is already well established that migration increases the diversity of skills available in the labor market of the destination country. The interactions between migrants, and between migrants and natives from a country, are very important factors in terms of the employment decisions migrants and natives make. To give an example, lower-educated immigrant workers often take available jobs in the destination country which require relatively low skill levels, e.g. in sectors such as cleaning, etc. This allows natives with similar qualifications to occupy jobs with relatively higher skill content, and to enjoy higher wages. This is a well established fact in the economics literature, which is not so difficult to verify in everyday life.

“These interactions also influence the family-related decisions of migrants (for example relating to marriage, number of children, etc.). Our objective is therefore to fully understand the economic impact of the different cultural factors and to integrate them into an economic framework to help policy makers determine how migration will impact the labor market and the family sphere.”

*MALYNES: “Migration And Labor supplY wheN culturE matterS” is a four-year project funded by the French National Research Agency, ANR. The team of researchers includes experts from IÉSEG School of Management (France), Paris School of Economics and the University Paris-Sorbonne, the University of California Davis, University of Verona, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and the Université Catholique de Louvain.