The Long-term Relationship Between International Labour Migration and Unemployment in Spain

  • Alexandra M. EspinosaEmail author
  • Ignacio Díaz-Emparanza


This paper analyzes the relationship between the international immigration rates and the unemployment rate in Spain for the period 1981–2016. During this period, immigration and employment grew rapidly, but in 2008, the Spanish economy collapsed with a significant increase in unemployment. This paper shows that, due to the characteristics of the migration policy in Spain, unemployment and immigration are cointegrated and, in addition, immigration causes unemployment. This causal relationship is positive, in the sense that the greater the immigration, the greater the unemployment. Last but not least, we find a positive long-term relation between immigration flows and GDP per capita growth.


Immigration Unemployment Cointegration VAR models 



We would like to thank Silvia González for the valuable comments on the previous drafts.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Ecuador, Grant PIS 14-02 and PIS-16-18.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsEscuela Politécnica NacionalQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Department of Econometrics and StatisticsUniversity of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain

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