DP5069 Labour Mobility During Transition: Evidence from the Czech Republic

Author(s): Jan Fidrmuc
Publication Date: May 2005
Keyword(s): labour market adjustment, migration, mobility, regional shocks, survey data
JEL(s): F22, J61, P23
Programme Areas: Institutions and Economic Performance
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5069

In this paper, I analyse the development of inter-regional mobility in the Czech Republic during the transition from central planning to a market economy. I show that while the intensity of migration is low and has even fallen during the transition, regional disparities in unemployment rates and earnings have increased. More importantly, labour mobility has little effect in facilitating labour market adjustment to employment shocks. Using aggregate inter-regional migration data and survey data on past and prospective migration and the willingness to move, I find that economic factosr play little role in explaining migration patterns. There is, nonetheless, some tentative evidence of the greater importance of economic considerations in explaining future migration intentions and the willingness to move. Thus, while at present migration appears more of a social or demographic rather than economic phenomenon, its economic role may strengthen in the future.