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The Common Nordic Labour Market at 50

image of The Common Nordic Labour Market at 50

In 1954 the Nordic countries entered a formal agreement on free labour mobility. Migration profiles have changed very much over the years since then. The Nordic agreement on free mobility is however still a clear advantage, both for the affected individuals and for the participating countries. The report contains a survey of earlier studies of the impact from the Nordic labour market agreement, followed by a broad description of the actual mobility over the 50 years since 1954. Next, the report surveys the actual factors behind the intra-Nordic mobility with special emphasis on cyclical differences between the countries. This is followed by in-depth analyses of characteristics of intra-Nordic migrants compared with people migrating out of the Nordic area. The report contains a survey of earlier studies of the impact from the Nordic labour market agreement, followed by a broad description of the actual mobility over the 50 years since 1954. Next, the report surveys the actual factors behind the intra-Nordic mobility with special emphasis on cyclical differences between the countries. This is followed by in-depth analyses of characteristics of intra-Nordic migrants compared with people migrating out of the Nordic area.

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Mobility factors

Studies on the cyclical sensitivity of migration flows before 1990 were surveyed in Chapter 2. Here we focus on the cyclical sensitivity in post- 1990 years. In the first section of this chapter we survey three cyclical indicators for the Nordic countries – the real GDP growth rate, the unemployment rate, and the rates of change in total employment – and analyze to what extent intra-Nordic migration flows are related to differences and changes in the cyclical indicators. In the second section we present some recent Nordic studies on cross-border commuting. Commuting – individuals who either stay in their home country and work in a neighbouring country or move to a neighbouring country and work in their home country – is an alternative way to reap the benefits from a common labour market.

English

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