Migration Impact Assessment

Migration Impact Assessment

New Horizons

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Peter Nijkamp, Jacques Poot and Mediha Sahin

During the last few decades the world has experienced an unprecedented level of cross-border migration. While this has generated significant socio-economic gains for host countries, as well as sometimes for the countries of origin, the costs and benefits involved are unevenly distributed. Consequently, growing global population mobility is a hotly debated topic, both in the political arena and by the general public. Amidst a plethora of facts, opinions and emotions, the assessment of migration impacts must be grounded in a solid scientific evidence base. This analytical book outlines and applies a range of the scientific methods that are currently available in migration impact assessment (MIA). The book provides various North American and European case studies that quantify socio-economic consequences of migration for host societies and for immigrants themselves.

Chapter 8: Immigration and innovation in European regions

Ceren Ozgen, Peter Nijkamp and Jacques Poot

Subjects: development studies, migration, economics and finance, regional economics, valuation, politics and public policy, migration, public policy, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration, regional economics


The more than doubling of the number of foreign-born residents of developed countries since 1980 has triggered a high level of research activity regarding the economic consequences of immigration. Yet many issues remain of concern to researchers, politicians and the general public. Much of the literature provides rather conclusive evidence that the shortrun economic impact of an influx of foreigners on the host population is either positive (for example, an increase in demand; an increase in wages of those whose skills complement those of the arrivals; lower prices; a greater variety of goods and services) or only mildly negative (for example, a slight decrease of wages of those who are close substitutes for the new arrivals; an increase in the price of rental accommodation; a trade balance deterioration). Far less is known about the long-run economic impact. Yet the preference of many host countries to recruit highly-skilled workers (as revealed by their selection processes) is grounded in the belief that such workers will integrate more easily, reduce the amount of public funding that is required for education and training, and boost long-run economic growth. In this chapter we focus on a specific driver of economic growth – namely, innovation – and investigate empirically whether there is a positive impact of immigration on innovation. Migrants can contribute to innovation in various ways.

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