The Labor Market Impact of Albanian Emigration to the EU After Full Membership: A Survey of Theoretical and Empirical Literature

Gungor Turan


In literature and surveys, the issue of economic impacts and consequences of potential immigration from non-EU countries like Albania to the EU labor market have been much debated especially in the EU side. According to the theories of migration, a major incentive to migrate is a real income or wage differentials between regions or countries. Also, the economic impact of immigration on wages and employment levels will obviously differ with the skill levels of migrants. If migrants mainly are unskilled and native workers skilled, like in the case of emigration from Albania to the EU especially to the neighbors and main receiving countries of Greece and Italy, we can easily say that Albanian and the EU workers are complements because of Albanian immigrants and the EU native workers are not substitutes in production. So, an increase in the number of Albanian immigrants raises the marginal product of the EU natives, shifting up the demand curve for the EU native-born workers. This increase in the EU native productivity raises the EU native wages. Moreover, some EU natives now see the higher wage rate as an additional incentive to enter the labor market, and the EU native employment also rises. On the other side, the empirical literature on this issue does not agree on the size of the potential immigrants from Albania to the EU labor market. Although, it is not clear what the sources were or the methods used to arrive at these estimates, there is reason to believe that the figures for the main countries such as Greece and Italy are very probable. According to the historical ackground size of the Albanian migrants to the especially Greece and Italy the size of migration after accession is estimated between 600 thousands and 1.1 million.


immigration, Albania, the European Union, labor market, wages and employment

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