The aim of this doctoral thesis is to carry out a differentiated analysis of current effects of migration and trade in Germany. Following an introductory chapter about the most important theories on migration and trade, two studies concentrate on migration and one study analyzes trade effects. The studies consider different relevant welfare indicators. Results therefore contribute to the public debate on various migration and trade related policy issues.
The first study provides an analysis of the effect of migration on regional wage disparities in Germany. Using data from the Indicators and Maps on Urban Development in Germany and Europe” (INKAR) and the German Socio Economic Panel (GSOEP) from the years 1998 to 2009, dynamic panel estimations are applied to consider dynamics as well as the simultaneity between migration and regional labor market circumstances. To begin with, the influence of migration on relative wage levels is analyzed. The results show a small positive wage effect due to the overall regional migration balance. However, only domestic migration is relevant for analyzing the influence of migration on regional wage disparities. The wage effect due to domestic migration turns out to be smaller and negative. Regions seem to benefit primary from a combination of internal and foreign migration, however effects are small. Assuming that individuals usually move to high-wage regions, the negative wage effect of German migration would trigger an adjustment mechanism of wage disparities. Therefore, a second dynamic panel estimation tests whether an influence of the regional wage levels on migration exists. Results show no statistically significant effects. An adjustment of existing wage disparities due to migration is not likely to occur in Germany in the next few years.
Concentrating on moves which are motivated by occupation, the second study evaluates main individual moving determinants. The central question is whether being unemployed has a positive effect on labor mobility. The empirical estimation is based on data from the GSOEP from the years 2001 to 2009. Following a bivariate probit approach, results are obtained estimating the joint probability of being unemployed and to move to account for the endogeneity of the unemployment variable in the migration equation.
The results indicate that a work related decision to move is highly influenced by dwelling ownership. The moving and unemployment probabilities increase when a person has an unemployed partner or a migration background. Furthermore, the unemployed are often single and in inferior health circumstances. The central result is a significant negative influence of the unemployment status on the work-related moving probability. In addition, the effects of central main moving determinants are much smaller for the unemployed group. Certain moving barriers only seem to exist or to have more weight for unemployed people.
The third empirical study analyzes the effects of a free trade agreement between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the German economy. Using the GTAP 6 computable general equilibrium model and Data Base, potential welfare and income gains and changes in the output and trade are calculated. Four scenarios are simulated, differing in the degree of reducing tariff barriers and non-tariff barriers in the first, second and third sectors. In one additional scenario of the study, sensitive products are excluded from the liberalization measures. The results show that the welfare impact on the German economy would be positive but low in contrast to the effects for the ASEAN countries. The observed changes at the sectoral level would have an overall positive impact on the German economy. Mainly the production and exports of primary products (in particular sugar-, rice- and poultry products) and of light industry products (clothing apparel, textiles and leather) are expected to decrease. Losses should therefore be limited to sectors which are underrepresented in the German economy. The production and export of manufacturing products (in particular cars & trucks; chemical, rubber & plastic products and machinery & equipment) as well as of the supply in the services sector is expected to increase. The higher gains in these more important sectors are expected to compensate for losses. The exclusion of sensitive products from liberalization measures would change results only marginally. In sum for Germany and the EU the economic effects would be rather small. However, when there is no FTA these advantages could be taken by the other ASEAN trade partners, especially by China and this would imply a loss of Germany’s and the EU’s international competitiveness.
1.1 Motivation and structure of the thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Contents and main results of the three empirical studies . . . . . . . . . . 3