SPP head Kahanec gives a lecture at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy

March 13, 2019

Professor and Head of CEU’s School of Public Policy (SPP) Martin Kahanec gave an open lecture on “The Global Migration Challenge: Lessons from Europe” at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy (JSGP) in Sunipat, New Delhi, India on February 13, 2019.

 Kahanec also visited the Ashoka University and met with students from the JSGP to discuss contemporary challenges in the area of public policy and introduce SPP’s Masters’ and PhD programs to an audience of interested students. CEU graduate and former SPP visiting professor Marta Kahancová and SPP alumnus Pratik Phadkule (SPP '15) were also present to answer JSGP students' questions about SPP's master’s programs as well as SPP’s Public Policy track of the PhD program in Political Science.

In his lecture, citing data from the World Economic Forum, Kahanec pointed out that India is “a migration superpower.” Aside from being the 12th top destination in the world, India is the top source of international migrants (one out of 20 global migrants comes from India) and the top recipient of remittances worldwide (around $70 billion). India also has nearly 140 million internal migrants.

India, however, also faces the policy challenge of dealing with an aging population. “The Indian population is projected to age rapidly: by 2050 the share of Indians over 60 is projected to increase to 19%, from 8% in 2015,” Kahanec said.

An aging society means that there will be fewer people of working age in the market, causing a shortage of qualified labor, increased labor and health care costs, and diminished competitiveness in the global economy.

In this regard, Europe, which has been seeing similarly aging population structures, is potentially a rich source of policy lessons. European Union (EU) member states have had a lot of experience as both labor destinations and labor source countries. EU enlargements and the accompanying extension of labor mobility to citizens in new member states from Central and Eastern Europe, in particular, have led to large-scale migration in a labor market of over half a billion people. But while such significant migration flows have had a role in tempering economic shocks and facilitating cross-border trade, they have also created certain winners and losers.

“Europe's population has been aging since decades, and its multifaceted experience with migration offers a number of lessons,” Kahanec said. “Systematically reviewing the available evidence, the lessons from Europe about the economic impacts of migration and labor mobility are generally supportive of free movement of labor, although the political impacts are problematic and require more attention.”

Kahanec has published on migration and labor mobility extensively; his recent contributions include:

“How immigration grease is affected by economic, institutional and policy contexts: evidence from EU labor markets” (co-authored with Martin Guzi and Lucia Mýtna Kureková), which was published in Kyklos, 2018;

“How Immigrants Helped EU Labor Markets to Adjust during the Great Recession” (co-authored with Martin Guzi), published in the International Journal of Manpower, 2018; and

“The Economic Impact of East-West Migration on the European Union” (co-authored with Mariola Pytlikova), which was published in Empirica – Journal of European Economics, 2017.