Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Potential implications of labour market opening in Germany and Austria on emigration from Poland

Strzelecki, Paweł and Wyszynski, Robert (2011): Potential implications of labour market opening in Germany and Austria on emigration from Poland.

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to present the characteristic of present-day migrants and the potential for possible migration after the opening of the labour markets in Austria and Germany. The econometric analysis shows that differences in unemployment rates between sending and receiving countries were the most important for changes in the emigration from Poland in the period 2002-2009. Mostly due to persistence of these differences the intruduction of the open-door policy by two last EU countries in the spring of 2011 can intensify the further emigration flows from Poland. Data concerning the structure of the present emigration in Germany indicate that emigrants from Poland are mainly persons with vocational and secondary education, working primarily in the sections of services (e.g. health care and social assistance, accommodation and catering). There is also a relatively high percentage of persons employed in agriculture and the construction sector. These sectors will probably continue to be the most frequent workplace for emigrants, where the internal supply of work seems insufficient to meet the needs of this part of the German economy. The current limitations push better educated emigrants from Poland to work mainly as specialists in the sectors of economy preferred by Germany or as self-employed persons. The caps applied by German authorities concerning the number of Polish employees on secondment under the framework of the cross-border provision of services remain underused. Moreover, German data (which do not cover persons holding dual nationality) indicate that for the time being emigration from Poland is, to a large extent, circulatory by nature. Examples of other EU countries which already opened their labour markets indicate that the removal of barriers to access may increase emigration in the first year, but the differences and changes in unemployment rates among countries are a much more important factor for migratory flows, particularly at a later stage. The opening of labour markets in Germany and Austria may contribute to a change in the nature of the present short-term to a more permanent migration from Poland. The first part of the study presents information on the existing work limitations for Poles in Germany and the characteristics of the present emigrants from Poland to Germany and Austria. The second part discusses determinants of emigration in 2002-2009, putting a special emphasis on those countries which already managed to open their labour markets for the ‘new’ EU members. The third part delivers the estimates of possible emigration changes from Poland to Germany and Austria that are going to happen after 1 May 2011.

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