chapter  8
32 Pages

International migrations: some comparisons and lessons for the European Union

WithGIOVANNI PERI

During the 1990s, the world experienced an increase in the flows of goods, capital and people across countries, making ‘globalization’ a buzzword in the media and political discourse. While economists generally consider this trend beneficial, a heated debate concerning the ‘discontented’ or the ‘losers’ has held centre-stage in the theatres of politics, economics and the media.2 The increased trade in manufacturing products and the outsourcing of traditionally skilled services to developing countries have compelled some trade economists to think more carefully about some of the particulars of extant trade theories.3 Certainly no aspect of globalization is regarded with more anxiety (or bound to produce more pronounced changes to society) than the large migratory flows of workers who seize economic opportunities by moving across countries. The United States, always a powerful attractor of migrants, has recently regained the position it held at the beginning of the twentieth century as the quintessential immigration country. Similarly Canada and Australia have experienced very large and growing inflows of immigrants in recent decades. On the other hand, the European Union, a frequent point of departure for immigrants in the past (headed mainly to North America, and Australia) is now becoming the destination of choice for a growing number of Turks, North Africans and Eastern Europeans.4