February 4, 2016


Europe's $110 billion bombshell: Border controls (Ivana Kottasova and Jim Boulden, 2/02/15, CNNMoney)

The return of border checks and passport controls could cost Europe as much as 100 billion euros ($110 billion) over a decade, a new study has found.

Researchers for the French government say the end of border-free travel could knock 0.8% off Europe's GDP by 2025 in a worst case scenario.

High hopes meet high fences : Moving around is good for young people, but governments stand in their way (The Economist, Jan 23rd 2016)

Young adults like Mr Teng are more mobile than any other age group. They are old enough to leave the parental home but have not yet acquired a family of their own to tie them down. They can fit their lives into a small bag--especially now that their book and music collections are stored in the cloud--and catch the next bus to adventure. A global Gallup poll found that 19% of 15-29-year-olds wanted to move permanently to another country--more than twice the proportion of 50-64-year-olds and four times the share of over-65s who felt the same way (see chart).

Young adults are more footloose within their own country, too. The average American moves house 6.4 times between the ages of 18 and 45 but only 2.7 times thereafter, the census shows. And in developing countries, young people are 40% more likely than their elders to migrate from the countryside to a city.

Such mobility is a good thing. In the absence of a war or flood, it is voluntary. People move because they think they will be better off elsewhere. Usually they are right. If they are wrong, they can always return home.

Moving tends to make people more productive, especially if it is from a poor country to a rich one. Michael Clemens of the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank, estimates that if a typical migrant from a poor to a rich country is allowed to work, he can earn three to five times more than he did at home. (And this assumes that he learns no new skills, though he probably will.) To win such a prize, migrants will take huge risks. A study by Linguère Mbaye of the African Development Bank found that those heading from Senegal to Europe were prepared to accept a 25% chance of dying in the attempt.

If all international borders were completely open, global GDP would double, Mr Clemens estimates.

Posted by at February 4, 2016 10:16 AM