September 2012

IZA DP No. 6843: Does Emigration Benefit the Stayers? Evidence from EU Enlargement

published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (2), 531-553

Around 9% of the Lithuanian workforce emigrated to Western Europe after the enlargement of the European Union in 2004. I exploit this emigration wave to study the effect of emigration on wages in the sending country. Using household data from Lithuania and work permit and census data from the UK and Ireland, I demonstrate that emigration had a significant positive effect on the wages of stayers. A one percentage-point increase in the emigration rate predicts a 0.67% increase in real wages. This effect, however, is only statistically significant for men.