Migration and the Labour Market – The Case of Poland and the Baltic States

Agnieszka Piekutowska

Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Bialystok

Jerzy Grabowiecki

Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Bialystok


This article aims to examine the economic impact of emigration on labour market developments in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (since EU accession) in a comparative perspective. The realization of this goal required an analysis of the literature as well as statistical analysis. The impact of emigration on the unemployment rate reduction, the issue of labour shortages and the wage effect of emigration and rising inflation were analysed. The main conclusion of the study is that the nature of these effects seems to be country-specific. The analysis indicated that along with reduction in labour supply, the unemployment rate reduction, the wage growth pressure and inflation were observed in all of the analysed countries. However, the strength of these developments varied among them. This differentiation can be attributed firstly to a different scale and intensity of emigration. Furthermore, differences among the analysed countries in the scope of wage pressure and inflation should be explained in the context of changes in the domestic workers productivity.


emigration, labour market, Poland, Baltic States

Carbaugh R. 2015. International Economics. 15th edition. Cengage Learning. Boston.

Convergence Report. May 2010. 2010. European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/conrep/cr201005en.pdf (access: 15.01.2017).

D'Auria F., Mc Morrow K., Pichelmann K. 2008. Economic impact of migration flows following the 2004 EU enlargement process: A model based analysis. European Economy. Economic Papers, 349: 1-32.

Eurostat database. 2017. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database (access: 3.01.2017).

Franz W., Siebeck K. 2012. A Theoretical and Econometric Analysis of Structural Unemployment in Germany: Reflections on the Beveridge Curve. In: Structural Unemployment. Ed. W. Franz. Springer Science & Business Media.

Hazans M., Philips K. 2011. The post-enlargement migration experience in the Baltic labor markets. IZA Discussion paper series, 5878: 1-50.

Kahanec M., Zimmermann K.F. 2008. Migration in an enlarged EU: a challenging solution? IZA discussion papers, 3913: 1-59.

Kahanec M., Zaiceva A., Zimmermann K.F. 2009. Lessons from migration after EU enlargement. IZA discussion papers, 4230: 1- 46.

Labour Market Developments in Europe 2013. 2013. European Economy, 6: 1-143.

Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe. Annual Review 2016. 2016. European Commission, Luxembourg.

Marek E. 1991. Zatrudnienie pracowników polskich za granicą. Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, Warszawa.

Marek E. 1992. Emigracja z Polski z uwzględnieniem zatrudnienia pracowników polskich za granicą. Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, Warszawa.

Popyt na pracę w 200.5 r. 2006. Główny Urząd Statystyczny. http://stat.gov.pl/obszary-tematyczne/rynek-pracy/popyt-na- prace/popyt-na-prace-w-2015-roku,1,11.html#archive (access: 19.01.2017).

Popyt na pracę w 2006 r. 2007. Główny Urząd Statystyczny. http://stat.gov.pl/obszary-tematyczne/rynek-pracy/popyt-na-prace/popyt-na-prace-w-2015- roku,1,11.html#archive (access: 19.01.2017).

Popyt na pracę w 2007 r. 2008. Główny Urząd Statystyczny. http://stat.gov.pl/obszary-tematyczne/rynek-pracy/popyt-na-prace/popyt-na-prace-w-2015-roku,1,11.html#archive (access: 19.01.2017).

Schreiner J. 2008. Labor Markets in Central, Eastern and Southeastern European EU Member States: General Trends and Migration Effects. Focus on European Economic Integration, 1: 82-99.

Stachowiak Z. 2004. Ekonomia międzynarodowa wobec wyzwań cywilizacyjnych. Wyd. Akademia obrony Narodowej, Warszawa.

Zaiceva A. 2014. Post-enlargement emigration and new EU members' labor markets. IZA World of Labor, 40: 1-10.

Zewnętrzne migracje zarobkowe we współczesnej Polsce. Wybrane zagadnienia. 2000. Ed. A. Raj-kiewicz. Wyższa Szkoła Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna, Instytut Pracy i Spraw Socjalnych, Warszawa, Włocławek.


Cited by

Piekutowska, A., & Grabowiecki, J. (2017). Migration and the Labour Market – The Case of Poland and the Baltic States. Olsztyn Economic Journal, 12(3), 247–260. https://doi.org/10.31648/oej.2809

Agnieszka Piekutowska 
Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Bialystok
Jerzy Grabowiecki 
Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Bialystok


An Author declares that his paper has not been published before (under the same or another title, or is a part of another publication) and does not infringe copyrights of other persons**. At the same time, the Author transfers to the Publisher the exclusive right to publish and to circulate this work in print in the form of a non-serial journal publication and in a form of an electronic publication.

Author's statement

The journal is available on Creative Common license CC-BY-NC-ND