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 10: A dual labour market for international migrants in a tourism-driven economy

Haime Croes and Pieter Hooimeijer

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


Tourism plays an important role in the economies of many small islands as it generates employment (Wilkinson, 1987; Kontogeorgopoulos, 1998; Andriotis, 2002). The tourist industry is labour intensive, resulting in a strong demand for workers that cannot always be met by the local market in which case employers recruit labour migrants for the elementary jobs (Oigenblick and Kirschenbaum, 2002). These jobs pay relatively low wages and provide part-time or seasonal work opportunities (McKee and Tisdell, 1988; Pantin, 1999; Krakover, 2000; Kontogeorgopoulos, 1998). Many of these positions are taken up by young migrants from developing countries. As a lot of the work is in personal or domestic services, women migrants are recruited in particular (Salt, 1992; Zontini, 2004). However, the tourist industry also creates opportunities that are not at the bottom end of the job hierarchy. Job creation occurs directly through the employment of managerial staff and indirectly through the construction of real estate, and through the business and public services provided to the tourist industry. As the wealth of the population increases, induced effects occur due to home consumption. The tourist expansion therefore contributes to the dual character of the labour market for migrants. According to dual labour market theory (Piore, 1979) the labour market is segmented in a capital-intensive primary market and a labour-intensive secondary market. Workers in the primary market usually hold stable, well-paid skilled jobs.

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