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In a new working paper, Associate Professor of Migration and Development Mathias Czaika and former IMI researcher Christopher Parsons look at the impact of the global economic crisis on high-skilled migration

What effect did the global economic crisis have on international migration? This new working paper introduces two pioneering databases in order to analyze the implications of the crisis, in particular on the highly skilled. The first database details inflows of migrant workers of 185 nationalities to 10 OECD destinations, disaggregated by skill level (highly skilled and otherwise), between 2000 and 2012. The second comprises immigration policies implemented by 19 OECD countries between 2000 and 2012.

The authors distinguish between six skill-selective admission policies, six post-entry policy instruments and three bilateral agreements. They then present preliminary analysis of these data against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, finding it negatively affected annual inflows of both highly and other skilled migrants between 2007 and 2009, although they resumed their upward trend thereafter.

The working paper's findings demonstrate that the starkest trends in policy terms include: the emergence and rapid diffusion of student job seeker visas, the relative stability in the prevalence of skill selective policies in the wake of the global economic crisis, a greater use of financial incentives to attract high-skilled workers and increased employer transferability for migrants at destination.

Download the working paper

Read more about the Drivers and dynamics of high-skilled migration project