Thursday, September 5, 2013

5/9/2013: OECD Migration report 2013: Ireland's blues

Last week, OECD published its International Migration Outlook 2013. I wrote about this in the box-out section of my Sunday Times column which is available here in an unedited version:

Couple of charts to illustrate the actual findings from the OECD:

These show pretty severe adverse impact of immigration on Irish exchequer finances, driven primarily by (in descending order of importance):

  1. The extent of the current crisis
  2. The impact of immigration flows composition on transmitting the shocks of unemployment to exchequer balance sheet (exceptionally rapid replacement of previously jobs-linked immigration inflows prior to 2004 with post-2004 opportunistic immigration from the EU Accession states, primarily going to short-term jobs in construction and domestic services sectors)
  3. The impact of the Government policies since 2000-2001 that raised significantly spending on social welfare

The problem, of course, is that the latest Government policies, acting to limit access to Irish labour market for non-EU nationals continues to reinforce the second point above. We are increasingly trading on the assumption that Accession states' nationals regardless of their skills can act as a substitute for highly skilled and perfectly selected into jobs candidates from the rest of the world. Not exactly a smart policy, folks…

In 2006 I wrote about this effect on selection bias in Irish immigration policies post-2004 for the Romanian Journal of European Studies: Seems like my warnings came to the front in the OECD data.

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