The migration of professionals within the EU: any barriers left? Migration, institutions and business cycle: evidence from the internal EU mobility

Stella Capuano, Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, DE
Silvia Migali, University of Aarhus, DK

Although free labour mobility is one of the pillars of the EU (see Art. 3 of the Treaty on European Union), impediments and barriers to the movement of workers may still exist. In this paper, we deal with an important and highly debated topic: the level of harmonization of the rules for the recognition of the educational and professional qualifications acquired in another EU member state. More specifically, we address the following research question: does the propensity of a country to recognize foreign educational qualifications attract the immigration of professionals? We construct proxies for the country propensity to recognize foreign qualifications based on available data on the number of recognitions in EU member states . We match the information on recognitions with new bilateral data on migration stocks by skill-level, to estimate a gravity model of migration. This approach allows us not only to evaluate the role of the propensity of recognition as an attractor of European migrants, but also to explore to which extent “classical” migration push and pull fac- tors are effective at the EU level, and how their impact compares to the one of our main variable of interest. All our estimation results reveal a positive relationship between the scale of migration rates and the propensity of recognition.