The Labour Market Impact of the EU Enlargement

Part of the series AIEL Series in Labour Economics pp 197-225


Internal Labour Mobility in Central Europe and the Baltic Region: Evidence from Labour Force Surveys

  • Pierella PaciAffiliated withThe World Bank Email author 
  • , Erwin R. Tiongson
  • , Mateusz Walewski
  • , Jacek Liwiński

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There are large regional disparities in labour market indicators in countries in Central Europe and the Baltic region. Such disparities appear to be persistent over time indicating, in part, a lack of flexibility in the prevailing adjustment mechanisms. Internal labour mobility is often seen as a potentially important instrument to reducing adjustment costs when other mechanisms fail. Drawing from 2004 LFS data and utilizing a common empirical framework and estimation strategy, this paper identifies patterns and statistical profiles of geographical mobility. It finds internal migration to be generally low and highly concentrated amongst better-educated, young and single workers. This suggests that migration is more likely to reinforce existing inequalities rather than act as an equalizing phenomenon. By way of contrast, commuting flows have grown over time and are more responsive to regional economic differentials. The findings suggest the need for appropriate and country-tailored policy measures designed to increase the responsiveness of labour flows to market conditions.


Regional unemployment Adjustment Migration Commuting