Jacques Delors Institut - Berlin, Bertelsmann Stiftung (Hrsg.)

Dr. Anna auf dem Brinke

Labour Mobility in the Euro Area: Cure or Curse for Imbalances?

1. Auflage
10 Seiten, PDF




We look at the years following the crisis of 2008. Did labour mobility increase or decrease imbalances in the euro area? In times of low growth, the data suggest that labour mobility is rather a cure than a curse. However, its potential for the citizens of the currency area is not fully exploited yet. For labour mobility to play a role in the stabilization of the euro area against future asymmetric shocks much more policy action is needed. This is true for the national as well as the European level.

To this end we discuss three complementary strategies. First, we need to facilitate more flexible working conditions and invest more in infrastructure that allows people to work and live in different countries. Second, we need to take measures to fully integrate the national labour markets into one European labour market. Third, we need complementary institutions such as a permanent adjustment mechanism to further reduce the effect of asymmetric shocks. Labour mobility is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient for reducing imbalances in the euro area. The data show clearly that in the wake of the Great Recession, increasing labour mobility has the potential to lower unemployment and stabilize the euro area.