Economics serving society

Policy briefs

Within the framework of the International Migration Economics Chair, policy briefs are regularly published to clarify specific research topics related to the Chair’s research.

June 2024

What are the long term impacts on inter ethnic childhood contact? by Liam Wren-Lewis

Does contact with ethnic minorities have impacts on attitudes and behaviour in the long run? This policy brief describes several recent studies that have shed light on these questions by focusing on inter-ethnic contact in an important setting: schools. Looking at the US and Europe, they find evidence that exposure to ethnic minorities in school changes the attitudes of the ethnic majority and leads to long term behaviour change in terms of romantic relationships, residential segregation, and recruitment.

May 2024

Adapting to Climate Change: Moving Goods or Moving People? by Klaus Desmet

Rising temperatures are hurting some regions of the world more than others, and not all economic sectors are equally vulnerable to global warming. As climate change shifts patterns of absolute and comparative advantage across the globe, people can adapt by switching to less hard-hit sectors or by moving to less hard-hit regions. Liberalizing trade stems the flow of climate migrants, but also keeps more people trapped in vulnerable places.

April 2024

The labor market effects of immigration in developing countries: It matters not only who you are but also in which firm you work by Lukas Delgado-Prieto

This policy brief synthesizes the findings and insights from Lukas Delgado-Prieto’s job market paper entitled “Immigration and Worker Responses Across Firms: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia.” The paper was presented at the 13th Conference on Immigration in OECD Countries -jointly organized by the OECD, the French center for research and expertise on the world economy (CEPII), the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), and PSE- held on December 11-12, 2023. It was awarded the first “Prize for the Best Immigration Economics Paper by a Junior Researcher”, awarded by the PSE International Migration Chair on the occasion of the conference.

February 2024

Immigration and the Macroeconomics of Populism by Hillel Rapoport and Riccardo Turati

Globalization and populism seem to go hand in hand: more openness to immigration and to trade generates more support for populist parties and ideas. Our research shows that this is indeed the case, but with important nuances. First, we propose new, innovative ways to measure populism. Second, we show that the skill-content of globalization shocks matter: low-skill immigration as well as imports of goods intensive in low-skill labor generate more right-wing populism (and less left-wing populism in the case of low-skill immigration) while “high-skill” globalization decreases populism.

December 2023

Is there an impact of immigration on productivity? The (assortative) matching channel by Gianluca Orefice and Giovanni Peri

There is strong causal evidence that immigrants contribute to enhance productivity in the host economy. Past literature has shown that immigrants increase innovation and bring about complementary skills and knowledges that generate such productivity-enhancing effects. The article summarized in this policy brief uncovers a new mechanism which has to do with the quality of the (assortative) matching between workers and firms that takes place when immigrants contribute to make the labor market thicker and more diverse.

October 2023

Do immigrants take the jobs of natives? Migration and employment dynamics across European regions by Cem Özgüzel

Do immigrants take the jobs of natives? This is maybe the oldest question when it comes to the economics of immigration, and one that is time and again resurfacing in the public debate, in particular in times of economic crisis and of rising migration flows. This policy brief tackles this question at the level of European regions and shows that while natives’ employment initially declines in response to more immigration, it recovers after about 5 years. This zero long-run effect is an average, with losses for low-skill native workers who compete with immigrants and positive gains for high-skill workers (even in the short-run, due to complementarity effects).

June 2023

World Development Report 2023: Main messages Migrants, refugees and societies with Çaglar Özden

As part of the last PSE Annual Conference on Global Issues held in May 2023, the International Migration Economics Chair organized a session of presentation of the World Development Report 2023 dedicated to “Migrants, Refugees and Societies” by one of its three main authors, lead economist Çaglar Özden.

May 2023

Can irrigation reduce climate change-related migration? by Katrin Millock

How will climate change affect migration patterns across the globe? Among the main mechanisms that have been identified is the effect of rising temperatures on the agricultural sector. It is a sector that is of particular concern for adaptation policies, particularly in poor countries whose economies depend on agriculture. In this policy brief, Katrin Millock discusses her recent research on how access to irrigation affects the relation between rising temperatures and migration, and the importance of understanding the interactions between migration as adaptation to climate change and other adaptation strategies, in terms of policy implications.

March 2023

Migration and innovation: A conversation with Francesco Lissoni with Francesco Lissoni

In this interview, Francesco Lissoni details the innovation implications of the free movement of people based on the agreement signed in 1999 between Switzerland and the EU. By moving to the Swiss regions bordering the EU, European inventors have boosted the number of patents filed in Switzerland without causing a "brain drain" in their country of origin. Furthermore, one of the public policy conclusions is that the free movement of people can have important benefits for European countries themselves through knowledge transfer.

February 2023

How can refugees contribute to postwar economic recovery at home? Lessons from the Balkans wars, for Ukraine and beyond by Hillel Rapoport

In the context of the war in Ukraine, Hillel Rapoport recalls that early access to the German labour market for Yugoslav refugees in the 1990s not only increased their chances of successful economic integration (if they stay) but also generated a positive externality (if they return) for the country of origin, as returning refugees bring back with them the accumulated human and social capital gained from working abroad.

January 2023

Immigration is the key to emerging markets becoming innovation hubs with Sara Signorelli

In this note, Sara Signorelli and co-authors explore whether and to what extent the innovation performance of multinational enterprises (MNEs) changes as a result of immigration reforms that relax or tighten barriers to immigration into a country.
Their results show that pro-immigration reforms significantly increase the number of patents filed by the MNEs in a country, while the opposite is true for policies discouraging labour migration.


The International Migration Economics Chair aims to create a place open to society in order to disseminate, share and discuss the findings of scientific studies on a major societal issue. It will conduct rigorous work based on historical and contemporary data to better understand the motivations and implications of international migration for the global economy as well as for receiving and sending countries.