DP10107 How far away is a Single European Labor Market?

Author(s): Annabelle Krause, Ulf Rinne, Klaus F Zimmermann
Publication Date: August 2014
Keyword(s): economic crisis, economic migration, European labor market integration, German model, worker mobility
JEL(s): J40, J61, J68
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=10107

A Single European Labor Market, particularly involving the free movement of workers within Europe, has been a goal of the European community since the 1950s. Whereas it may entail opportunities and drawbacks alike, the benefits—such as greater economic welfare for most citizens—are supposed to outweigh the losses. However, over fifty years after the aim was first established, a Single European Labor Market has not yet been achieved. This paper gives an overview of current European macroeconomic trends, with a particular focus on the Great Recession, and also explores the drivers of and obstacles to labor mobility. Complementarily, it analyses the results of a unique opinion survey among labor market experts, as well as formulates policy recommendations to enhance mobility. The development of a Single European Labor Market is also discussed in relation to the German model.