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Quantifying the Effects of Economic and Labour Market Inequalities on Inter-Regional Migration in Europe – A Policy Perspective


This paper examines the economic and labour market influences acting upon inter-regional migration flows in Europe, against the backdrop of heightened political sensitivity to (im)migration issues, made more acute by the recent global financial crisis. Within the European Union, legislation guaranteeing the free movement of people between countries means that national governments are unable to control immigration in the ways that they would sometimes prefer. Migrants within the EU are primarily influenced by economic factors and so the potential for influencing migration through pre-existing systems for wealth redistribution are explored. It is shown that relatively small changes in regional economic and labour market inequalities can have large effects on migration volumes, but that for flows which are currently causing worry for governments, such as those from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK, the evidence is that present levels of wealth redistribution are unlikely to alter conditions sufficiently to arrest potential movements.

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Correspondence to Adam Dennett.

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Dennett, A. Quantifying the Effects of Economic and Labour Market Inequalities on Inter-Regional Migration in Europe – A Policy Perspective. Appl. Spatial Analysis 7, 97–117 (2014).

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  • Migration
  • Europe
  • Logistic Regression
  • Economic inequality
  • Modelling
  • Policy