Ifo Migration Monitor
The current refugee crisis poses a major challenge to the European Union. The aim of the Ifo Migration Monitor is to provide up-to-date information both on regular migration and asylum-seekers in the European Union. Ifo Migration Monitor is published by the Ifo Center of Excellence for Migration and Integration Research (CEMIR) founded in 2012, which aims to play an active role in the immigration debate in Germany and Europe.
International Migration and Refugee Crisis
From an economic viewpoint there are good reasons for the free movement of labour not only within a country, but also beyond its borders. As long as the migration is only induced by international wage and productivity differences, and the labour markets of the target countries are sufficiently flexible and absorptive, positive welfare effects arise from migration for both the domestic and migrant population. In such cases migration ensures an efficient distribution of labour, since the self-regulation of the labour markets continuously and optimally adjusts migration to circumstances in the source and target countries. In some market segments competition for jobs will intensify and put pressure on wages in the host country. Since capital earnings and the wages for complementary labour increase at the same time, however, this country gains on the whole too.
A problem is the distortion of migration flows from the existing social welfare system and the free availability of public infrastructure. This results in the flawed selection of immigrants. Poorly-qualified immigrants, who are net recipients of public resources, are artificially attracted and highly-qualified immigrants, who contribute more to the state than they get back in the form of public services and social benefits, are deterred. This not only leads to excessive migration, which offsets at least some of the welfare im-provements created by migration, but also threatens to erode the western European wel-fare states, as these states, in order to prevent the migration of the poor, may start to compete with each other in implementing the strongest deterrents.