What is it about?

Western Balkan countries are among the European countries with the highest share of their population living and working abroad. This has a number of implications for the labour market and human capital. Therefore, this study looks at the relationships between emigration, labour market and human capital and tries to understand some of the implications that emigration has on employment, wages and human capital in these countries.

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Why is it important?

The main implications of the study are that: labour market and human capital imbalances are not mainly driven by high emigration. Instead, more efforts should be devoted to introduce policies which improve labour market conditions - such as rising labour utilisation and insentivising labour market participation.

Perspectives

I hope this article reaches out the policy makers in the region and our finds assist them to reflect on migration not at as the main cause of labour shortages and brain drain in the region, but rather as a consequence. Accordingly, more attention has to be given to policy changes which help to rise the economic activity and improve the working conditions especially in essential sectors.

Isilda Mara
The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies

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This page is a summary of: Basic relationships between human capital, migration and labour markets in the Western Balkans: An econometric investigation, International Migration, May 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/imig.13025.
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