2015: Journal no. 4

MIGRATION ISSUES AND THEIR ECONOMIC IMPACT

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Authors:  
Silvia LAZARI, PhD Student, Free International University of Moldova
Alexandru GRIBINCEA, PhD, Professor, Free International University of Moldova
Iulita BIRCA, scientific researcher, National Institute for Economic Research, Moldova

The most important and avidly debated effects of undocumented immigration involve the UE’ economy and labor force. It is estimated that there are 12 million undocumented immigrants in the UE today, and their impact on the economy can be perceived as positive as well as negative. The overall effect is unclear, and this page aims to present both sides of the debate. The main argument supporting the undocumented immigration is that migrant workers do jobs that UE do not want to do. Given that most of the EU labor force does not compete with undocumented workers for jobs, there has not been a significant shift in the wage rate. Who is then hurt by these immigrants doing jobs that “we will not do”? For instance, those without high school diplomas are the ones who are most affected. It is estimated that undocumented immigrants have lower wages by approximately 3 to 8 percent for low-skill jobs. Furthermore, Americans who compete with immigrants for these jobs stand to make an additional $25 a week if undocumented immigration were to be severely cut down. This modeling demonstrates how migration has varied economic impacts across economics. While mining GDP is boosted by migration, in percentage terms this boost falls well short of the boost to population. This is because mining is dependent on a fixed natural resource. Thus mining GDP is substantially lower on a per capita basis. On a per capita basis, the boost to the Government services industry is modest. This reflects the falls in general government final demand per capita. The boost to Agriculture on a per capita basis is also modest. This is because Agriculture is dependent on the supply of agricultural land, limiting its ability to expand with a higher population. Both the manufacturing industry and the other services industry achieve large gains from migration, as these industries do not face the same natural constraints as mining and agriculture. They both benefit from their exposure to the strong gain in household consumption per capita, and the more plentiful supply of high-skilled workers. Manufacturing also benefits from the very strong gain in investment demand per capita.

Keywords:  
migration, economics, economic growth, productivity, benefits, economic acceleration.