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EU Mobile Workers: A challenge to public finances?1 Contribution for informal ECOFIN, Bucharest, 5-6 April, 2019. CEPS Special Report

Alcidi, Cinzia. and Gros, Daniel. (2019) EU Mobile Workers: A challenge to public finances?1 Contribution for informal ECOFIN, Bucharest, 5-6 April, 2019. CEPS Special Report. [Policy Paper]

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    Abstract

    This contribution analyses recent trends in labour mobility within the EU and considers the challenges it generates in sending countries. It finds that mobile workers abroad can make a significant contribution to the GDP of their host countries and that the incomes of mobile citizens abroad can be of considerable benefit to those who stayed at home. However, large-scale (net) emigration could have negative effects on the source country. Negative effects of outward mobility can arise through brain drain and when emigration erodes the tax base, making it more difficult for governments to finance current expenditure and to service (a large) public debt. Within the EU, the evidence of brain drain appears limited to southern euro area countries. The negative impact of the erosion of the tax base through emigration is mitigated by lower expenditure needs and additional VAT revenues on the expenditure financed by remittances. For high debt countries, population ageing exacerbated by mobility, rather than mobility alone, is the main issue for debt sustainability. A key finding is that with ongoing reductions in wage gaps, in the future, differences in structural factors may be more important than (after-tax) income in the decision to emigrate. States which struggle the most to enhance the quality of the life of their citizens, through effective public spending and provision of high quality public goods, may experience the largest outflows of workers.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > employment/labour market > labour migration, intra-EU
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Special Reports
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 01 May 2019 12:24
    Number of Pages: 32
    Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:30
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/97084

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