GDP Growth and Unsaturated Demand on Labour Markets: Is the Visegrad Group Ready for an Increased Immigration?
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Publication date: 2021-08-15
Ekonomista 2021;(4):482–507
Due to unprecedented economic growth after the EU accession, four post-communist economies: Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovak Republic (Visegrad Group, V4) have suffered from unsaturated demand in their labour markets. However, while undergoing the transition from net emigration into net immigration countries, the V4 governments unleashed anti-immigrant propaganda, which seems to have fallen on fertile ground with their societies. The paper addresses the question of potential readiness of the Visegrad Group countries to accept increased immigration. To this end an analysis of post-war migration flows and immigrant populations was performed for each of the countries. To reveal correlations between migration flows and selected macroeconomic indicators, a time series analysis with time series regression model has been performed. No universal trends for the entire V4 group were revealed regarding correlation of macroeconomic indicators and migration flows. However, statistically significant correlations were found for Poland (where higher GDP growth and lower unemployment translated into increased immigration) and Slovak Republic (where higher FDI dynamics resulted in decreased emigration). It is also claimed that negative attitudes of V4 populations towards increased immigration are deteriorating with time, which might be challenging for their governments, especially in the light of growing demand on their labour markets.