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FIW Policy NotesFIW Policy Notes
7.2.2023 : 19:48 : +0100

The FIW - Research Centre International Economics ( is a cooperation between the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the University Vienna, the Johannes Kepler University Linz, the University of Innsbruck, WIFO, wiiw and WSR. FIW is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministries of Education, Research and Science (BMBFW) and of Labour and Economy (BMAW).

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How well does education travel? Education and occupation with and without migration .
File:fileadmin/Documents/Publikationen/Studien_II/SI10.PolicyNote.How well does education travel-Education and occupation with and without migration.pdf

Abstract: Using the Labour Force Survey (LFS) we explore the difference international migration makes for the distribution of occupational levels for any given level of education in the two countries of interest: Austria and Germany. Migrant outcomes are also being compared with home country outcomes, i.e. Serbia and Turkey. We find that education is imperfectly portable across national borders. Austrian employers treat schooling from certain countries of origin differently from the way they treat schooling from natives. Educational levels completed in Western European countries are obviously more transferable across national borders than educational levels completed elsewhere. Workers in their home country all have similar occupational returns to education but migrants in Austria or Germany lag considerably behind. Middle and higher education in particular are not equally rewarded if from abroad. The low value of foreign-acquired education may reflect discrimination, differences in school quality across continents of origin, imperfect knowledge of the evaluation of foreign credentials on the side of the employer or the low compatibility of the foreign-acquired education with the requirements and the specific orientation of the host country labour market.

Migrants and Economic Performance in the EU15: their allocations across countries, industries and job types and their (productivity) growth impacts at the sectoral and regional levels .

Abstract: Studies regarding the migrants’ impact upon performance variables and in particular upon productivity growth – which is the focus of this study - are few although there has been an increased interest in this area. This study addresses this issue in a cross-country and regional perspective with a focus on EU-27 countries at the industry level. In the first part of the study the focus is on employment patterns of migrants regarding their shares in employment, the composition in terms of places of origin, and an important aspect of the analysis is the study of their ‘skills’ (measured by educational attainment levels) and the utilisation of these skills relative to those of domestic workers. The second part of the study conducts a wide range of ‘descriptive econometric’ exercises analysing the relationship between migrants employment across industries and regions and output and productivity growth. We do obtain robust results with respect to the positive impact of the presence of high-skilled migrants especially in high-education-intensive industries and also more generally – but less robustly – on the relationship between productivity growth and the shares of migrants and of high-skilled migrants in overall employment. There is also an analysis of the impact of different policy settings with respect to labour market access of migrants and to anti-discrimination measures. The latter have a significant positive impact on migrants’ contribution to productivity growth. In the analysis of impacts of migrants on value added and labour productivity growth at the regional level we add migration variables to robust determinants of growth and find positive and significant relationships between migrants’ shares (and specifically of high-skilled migrants) and regional productivity growth. The limitations of the study with respect to data issues, causality and selection effects are discussed which give scope for further research.

Qualification Structure, Over- and Underqualification of the Foreign Born in Austria and the EU .

Abstract: This project focuses on comparing the qualification structure of migrants residing in Austria as well as their over- and underqualification rates to other EU countries. The skill structure of foreign born residing in Austria has improved slightly in the last years. Austria is, however, characterised by a high share of medium skilled migrants and a low share of highly skilled migrants. In addition among the pool of migrants in the EU from a given country, Austria generally selects the less qualified. The location decisions of highly skilled migrants are mostly governed by income opportunities, labour market conditions, ethnic networks and a common official language. Over- and under-qualification rates among the foreign born in Austria largely accord with the European average, the largest part of the differences can be explained by differences in qualification and country structure between the foreign born in Austria and the EU. Native-foreign born differentials in employment rates are, however, significantly higher in Austria than in other EU countries.

Return migration and labour market outcomes of the returnees. Does the return really pay off? The case-study of Romania and Bulgaria .

Abstract: In this study we analyse the labour market performance of Romanian and Bulgarian return migrants and whether it really pays off to return home. We looked at the employment dynamics of returnees from the perspective of employment and occupational status switches to capture the effects of the work experience abroad on the upgrade in the home labour market. After predicting the wages and measuring the wage premium upon return, we apply an endogenous switching ordered probit model to estimate simultaneously the decision to migrate temporarily and the determinants of an upgrading of labour market performance upon return. The labor market performance of return migrants is analysed by using the 2005 World Bank Surveys in Bulgaria and Romania. The main conclusion is that the interdependence in the decision-making between return migration and labour market participation requires counting them simultaneously. While, the labour market participation upon return are strongly determined by the intentions of a permanent return and the expectation of return premiums for the skills and experience acquired abroad, the permanent intentions of return are determined by the experience abroad, the family ties and by intentions of other household members to migrate.

The Extent, Characteristics and Impacts of FDI and Multinational Firm Activities - A Firm Level Analysis .

Abstract: The study examines the impact of Austrian outward foreign direct investments (FDI) on home based parent company employment. The analysis is based on the AMADEUS firm-level database and an improved methodology by applying matching methods and the difference in difference estimator. In this way we are able to overcome the major shortcomings of earlier studies on the home market effects of Austrian outward FDI, which included data on foreign direct investors only leading to biased estimates and preventing the deduction of causal relationships. Overall the results indicate that investing abroad strengthens the employment performance in the home country. This is also true for Austrian foreign direct investments in Eastern European locations. We also analyse the major factors determining the firms' decision to invest abroad as well as decisions on the degree of multinationality, which we measure by the number of foreign affiliates owned. Firm size, firm age, the capital intensity and the number of shareholders are significant determinants for the number of subsidiaries. The analysis also corroborates theoretical results establishing the fact that foreign direct investment activities are driven by firm specific advantages and a superior productivity performance in the pre-investment period. Thus, firms that start foreign activities are ex-ante different from non-investing purely domestic firms.

The Carbon Content of Austrian Trade Flows in the European and International Trade Context .

Abstract: In this study CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian international trade are quantified employing a 66-region input output model of multidirectional trade. We find that Austria’s final demand CO2 responsibilities on a global scale are 38% higher than conventional statistics report (110 Mt-CO2 versus 79 Mt-CO2 in 2004). For each unit of Austrian final demand, currently two thirds of the thus triggered CO2 emissions occur outside Austrian borders. We then develop a 19-region computable general equilibrium model of Austria and its major trading partners and world regions to find that future Austrian climate policy can achieve the EU 20-20 emission reduction targets, but that its carbon trade balance would worsen considerably. Both unilateral EU and internationally coordinated climate policies affect Austrian international trade stronger than its domestic production.

CO2 Emissions Embodied in Austrian International Trade .

Abstract: This study quantifies the CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian exports and imports, using a two region-input output approach (Austria and the rest of the world). The approach considers differences in production technologies between Austria and the rest of the world, concerning the CO2 coefficients (per unit of output) and the input-output structure (both are taken from data for EU 27). The CO2 emissions embodied in Austrian imports are considerably higher than CO2 emissions embodied in exports, i.e., CO2 for Austrian demand is leaking to the rest of the world. From 1995 to 2005 this negative balance of CO2 in trade has diminished in absolute terms, from 11 million tons (1995) to 6.4 million tons (2005), as CO2 embodied in exports has grown more rapidly than CO2 embodied in imports, thereby creating a huge potential for future carbon leakage.

China's foreign oil policy: genesis, deployment and selected effects .

Abstract: China is a rising global power with a growing role and impact on the world’s energy markets as well as on the Earth’s climate system. China pursues its development in an essentially non-confrontational manner, a vision encapsulated by the notion of peaceful rise which is viewed positively in the world’s major capitals. Nevertheless, China’s rapid growth represents a genuine global challenge and raises many questions. How is China dealing with its growing need for imported crude oil? What is the impact of China’s rise on the global oil market, notably in terms of oil price developments? Are Chinese actions on oil markets different from those of other major importers? What opportunities and risks arise as a result of china’s growing role on the global oil market from the viewpoint of other global players? In this report we seek to offer some answers to those questions with a review of China’s developing energy policy, of the actions and revealed preferences of its national oil companies, and of broader economic and geopolitical analyses of the impact of China’s growing oil consumption on other global players.

AUSTRIA 2020: The impact of medium-term global trends on the Austrian economy .

Abstract: This study quantifies possible impacts of medium-term structural changes in the global economy on the Austrian economy. Emphasis is placed on the effects of continued medium term growth in emerging markets, especially in Asia and Latin America, on the structure of the Austrian economy. The issues here include the identification of price effects (due to increased demand for raw materials) that can be expected, as well as how these may impact the commodity composition of both exports and imports. Underlying global trends also involve both investment patterns and total factor productivity trends at a more regional level, also impacting on the Austrian economy. Finally, these structural changes at the global level also lead to changes in household incomes and the cost of living in Austria, impacting on patterns of inequality in Austria at the household level.

Charasteristics of exporting and non-exporting firms in Austria .

Abstract: In this study we provide detailed evidence on the importance and performance of exporters compared to non-exporters in Austrian manufacturing, based on firm level data. The results are in line with those found in other studies pointing towards the exceptional role of exporting firms with respect to various size and performance measures. We provide both descriptive as well as econometric evidence on these ‘export premia’ along these lines and further present a brief comparison with results found for other countries. Our findings however also suggest the existence of quite large differences across industries with respect to the export premia which deserves further attention.