OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Is the European Union attractive for potential migrants?

An investigation of migration intentions across the world

This paper is part of the joint project between the Directorate General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission and the OECD’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs on “Review of Labour Migration Policy in Europe”. This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Grant: HOME/2013/EIFX/CA/002 / 30-CE-0615920/00-38 (DI130895) A previous version of this paper was presented and discussed at the OECD Working Party on Migration in June 2015. The paper investigates the main likely drivers of migration towards the EU. It encompasses a literature review on the determinants of potential and actual migration, followed by an illustrative empirical investigation of worldwide migration intentions – focused on intentions to move permanently in a restricted time span, based on the Gallup surveys on the opinions and aspirations of people around the globe. The paper then continues with a descriptive analysis of migration intentions using both aggregated figures and figures disaggregated by region or country of destination and region or country of origin. It then investigates if individuals intending to move to European countries differ from those intending to move elsewhere using basic individual characteristics such as sex, age, education, and marital and employment status. When feasible, it compares the findings with the profile of recent migrants residing in OECD countries derived from the Database on Immigrants in OECD and non-OECD Countries.


JEL: O15: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development / Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration; F22: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Migration
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