Economics serving society

Hillel Rapoport - Qualified immigration: a visa for growth (January 2022)

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In a few words

The French Council of Economic Analysis (CAE) published in November 2021 a note on labor migration (especially, skilled immigration) to France. The authors show that immigration to France, relatively to the other main OECD countries, is characterized by low skill-intensity, low diversity, and is also quantitatively low due to the predominance of familial and humanitarian motives and the resulting relative weakness of economic and free-mobility (intra-European) motives. As a result, France is lagging behind in the global race for talent and unable to exploit the growth potential that a larger, more qualified and most diverse immigration would bring, notably in terms of innovation, entrepreneurship, and integration to the global economy thanks to the scientific and business networks induced by migration). They then explore a few directions (reforming the occupational shortages lists, evaluating the « passeport talent » and « bienvenue en France » programs, increased efforts to attract and retain foreign students, introduction of a point-system inspired from the Canadian or Australian experience) susceptible of rendering France more attractive and performant in terms of skilled immigration. The note comes with four « focus » on immigration and innovation, refugee hosting policies, immigration and labor shortages, as well as on the contribution of immigration to public finances. Overall, the note aims at bringing economics back to the public debate on immigration in France, which is dominated by identity and security concerns.


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