Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 146, Issue 4, pp 677–707 | Cite as

Migration and trade union rights

  • Thierry Baudassé
  • Rémi Bazillier
Open Access


We study in this paper both theoretically and empirically the influence of trade union rights in origin countries on bilateral migration flows. Theoretically, trade union rights are supposed to increase the bargaining power of workers. Alternatively, it may benefit only to formal workers if these rights are not applied in the informal sector. We then propose different alternative indexes measuring trade union rights. We find that, all things being equal, more trade union rights tend to be associated with less migration of low-skill and high-skilled workers. Effects are not significant for intermediate skill level. Lastly, we show that social tensions may have the opposite effect. If trade union rights are associated with more social instability, it may increase the level of migration. It emphasizes the importance of social dialogue.


F22 J51 J61 J83 


migration core labor standards freedom of association and collective bargaining 


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Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEO-CNRS (UMR 6221)Université d’OrléansFrance

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