You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Designing Immigration Policy Solutions Implement high-skilled immigration programs that rely on broad-based notions of skill, rather than the traditional notion of short-run “skill shortages.”
Symposium 2008

Solution for Designing Immigration Policy

The Challenge

While the world is becoming more integrated through cheaper transport and communication, large income differences persist between rich and poor countries. As a result, the pressures to migrate from ...

While the world is becoming more integrated through cheaper transport and communication, large income differences persist between rich and poor countries. As a result, the pressures to migrate from poor to rich countries are rising. Migration among rich countries and among poor countries is also on the rise.

Implement high-skilled immigration programs that rely on broad-based notions of skill, rather than the traditional notion of short-run “skill shortages.”

The narrow notion of “skill shortages” often used by immigration policies rests on somewhat shaky economic foundations and is excessively focused on labor market conditions in the short run. Forward-looking immigration policies – such as the Australian and Canadian points systems – based on multi-dimensional definitions of skill and a job offer promise better economic outcomes in the long run.

Present systems based on an employer guarantee for a sufficiently high salary as in Germany and the Netherlands are readily incorporated into such a points system by awarding high numbers of points for high salary guarantees.

The notion of “broad-based skill” needs further attention for it to fulfill its potential in practice. It must rest firmly on an understanding of the opportunities for labor substitution. For example, when there is a shortage of chemical engineers, it is not helpful to attract civil engineers, since the latter cannot be substituted for the former. Many high-skilled labor shortages are showing up in regulated professions, where the qualification requirements are very precise.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Redesign low-skill immigration policies through a combination of implementable restrictions and feasible border enforcement. Thereby channel illegal migration into legal employment.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Create a standing commission on immigration and to adjust immigration levels flexibly in response to changing market and institutional conditions.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Give irregular immigrants the opportunity and incentives to integrate through continuous “earned regularization” leading to naturalization.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2008

    Make immigration policies for high-skilled immigrants much more open, such as by introducing a “blue card” for immigrants to the EU. Don´t allow concerns about a possible brain drain to ...

    Make immigration policies for high-skilled immigrants much more open, such as by introducing a “blue card” for immigrants to the EU. Don´t allow concerns about a possible brain drain to stop the ...

    Make immigration policies for high-skilled immigrants much more open, such as by introducing a “blue card” for immigrants to the EU. Don´t allow concerns about a possible brain drain to stop the opening of labor markets for high-skilled immigrants.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society