On the Significant Importance of Migration for Overtime Changes in Labour Supply in Selected European Countries: Methodological Insights and Contemporary Evidence

Christos Bagavos , Panteion University

Slowdown in population growth and population ageing challenge Europe, particularly in terms of current and future amount of labour supply. In the recent period, those demographic transformations take place in a context of increasing migration flows. In this paper, we aim to investigate the contribution of foreign-born migration to shifts in the two main aspects of labour supply, namely the size of the labour force and the aggregate labour force participation rates in 9 selected European countries (7 EU-countries, Norway and Switzerland) and in the EU-28 as a whole. The analysis is based on annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) data provided by Eurostat for the 2006 onward period. We use a mixed standardization and decomposition method to determine to what extent over time trends in the total size of the labour force and in the aggregate participation rates are driven by changes in population or in participation rates of specific groups selected on the basis of age, gender, place of birth (native- vs. foreign-born) and migrant’s origin (EU-born vs. Third Country-born). This allows exploring the separate contribution of each group to shifts in labour supply and therefore investigating migrant’s contribution in a more comparative framework. The paper points out that, recent changes in the labour supply in the European countries under study are largely attributable to foreign-born migration. The paper is prepared in the context of the Horizon-2020 SIRIUS (Skills and Integration of Migrants Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour Markets) research project.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy