International migration and trade


Gonzague Vannoorenberghe, Fabio Mariani, Jean-François Maystadt,  Luca Pensieroso

Research Projects

Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
FAFO Global questions on forced displacement and jobs: The impact of forced displacement on labor markets in host communities Jean-François Maystadt      

Project description:

The aim of the project is to study the impacts of forced displacement on labor markets in four countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan and Uganda. The case studies will generate quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence on three interconnected themes:

1) Assessing the impact of refugees on the labor markets; 
2) Understanding coping strategies adopted by the hosts in refugee-hosting areas; and
3) Shedding light on the importance of refugees’ socio-economic integration and the right to work in refugee-hosting economies.

The quantitative analysis will be based on both primary and secondary data. Based on the four case studies, the overarching objective of the project is to draw global policy recommendations and implications for dealing with new displacement in low- and middle-income countries.


Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
FNRS/PDR Globalization, inequality and populism in Europe Gonzague Vannoorenberghe   2020 2023
Project description:

This project examines the interaction between globalization and populism in a large set of countries and over long time periods, using a variety of methods and data. We consider the effects of both exposure to international trade and migration as dimensions of globalization, and differentiate the effects of low-skilled or high-skilled trade and migration on populism. We study how globalization affects differentially right-wing and left-wing populism, as well as how populist and nonpopulist parties evolve as a response to globalization.


Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End

Sources of change in comparative advantage and policy implications

Gonzague Vannoorenberghe   2017 2020

Project description

The project develops a methodology to identify the determinants of long-run changes in comparative advantage across countries. These changes affect the specialization patterns of a country, and have deep consequences for workers and rms as they come with substantial adjustment costs. The project aims to better understand the sources of changes in comparative advantage, and to help the evaluation of policies designed to accompany them.


Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
FNRS EOS Winners and losers from globalization and market integration: Insights from micro-data Joseph Gomes,  William Parienté and Gonzague Vannoorenberghe Esther Delesalle, Adam Levai 2018 2022


Project description

The process of globalization, and market integration more generally, has created winners and losers, across regions of the world, but also within regions across various individuals and producers, both in developed and developing countries. The traditional recommendation by economists has been to create conditions that allow ‘smooth’ structural adjustments, such that those who lose can move to sectors or occupations that gain, or that at least losers are compensated. While this is rather straightforward “in theory”, in practice costs and benefits of restructuring are not easy to identify and redistribute in real time, which may create substantive losses even in the medium term.

In this project we plan to improve on both the measurement and empirical analysis of the heterogeneous impact of globalization using unique and rich micro-data, at the rm-, region-, and household-level. Throughout the different parts and working packages of our project, we focus on measurement and a more detailed micro- analysis, to identify the heterogeneous effects across a variety of settings, and we do so with a modern view of globalization and market integration — i.e., that trade is more than a mere ow of goods between countries, as traditionally modeled in international trade theory. Firms, the mix of workers they employ to produce a set of differentiated products, and the globally spread production process is central in the analysis. We therefore focus on all three relevant margins of globalization: rms, households and space (cities) in this project.

The different working packages (WPs) share a common focus on micro-data and empirical analysis through state-of-the art micro-econometric techniques, that in part have been developed by the PIs of this project. We rely on a combination of new, and unique detailed datasets which have either been collected by other organizations, or by our own research teams. The coverage of the data and the project is global and local at the same time. The overall project will cover many countries, both rich and poor; but the focus of the specific working packages is local which is inherent in the use of detailed micro-data.

Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
FNRS PDR The economics of deep trade agreements Mathieu Parenti and Gonzague Vannoorenberghe   2019 2022

Project description

The project develops a framework to analyze the economic consequences of deep trade agreements. This new generation of trade agreements, such as the ones signed between the EU and Japan or the EU and Canada (CETA) go much beyond traditional tariff reductions and have at their core the dismantling of many non-tariff barriers. These raise a number of questions about regulatory convergence, the recognition of foreign standards (e.g. should hormone-fed beef be allowed for consumption) and investment protection. Many in the public debate fear a loss of national sovereignty, implying a lower consumer protection and unfair competition to local, high-quality producers. Most existing trade models are ill-equipped to address these questions as they restrict trade liberalization to be similar to a reduction in tariffs. Our project addresses these shortcomings by considering quality standards as a legitimate way to curb consumption or production externalities, and not only as a way to protect the national industry. In this setup, we derive the conditions under which new trade agreements are welfare improving, and provide guidance as to when countries should mutually recognize their standards or not. We also address the role of new trade agreement for international tax competition.

Sponsor Project Title IRES Promoters IRES Researchers Beginning End
ARC New approaches to understanding and modelling global migration trends Frédéric Docquier   2018 2023

Project description

The recent refugee crisis placed migration policy in the forefront of the global policy debate. World economy trends suggest that there may be further episodes of large-scale migration in the future. In this context, GLOBMIG is a 48-month project that aims at developing stronger conceptual tools to better understand and model global migration patterns. It has assembled a team of economists, demographers, lawyers, and computer scientists around three objectives: (i) to gain understanding of the long-run root drivers of international migration and of their complex interactions with the socio-demographic, climatic, institutional and economic environments, (ii) to produce integrated projections of migration, population, and global inequality, and (iii) to use the knowledge base to assess the effectiveness and policy coherence of the legal framework. Despite considerable improvements in the recent literature, little is known about the root drivers of long- run trends in the size and structure of migration, about the interplay between internal and international migrations, or about the effects of policy reforms on migration ows and about their coherence with other policies. GLOBMIG aims at shedding light on these issues. It goes beyond the state of the art in combining traditional and innovative sources of data (e.g., big data on cell-phone owners’ mobility, worldwide opinion surveys on migration intentions, geo-referenced data on population changes, comparative data on immigration laws and policies), and in developing new methodologies for processing and analyzing them (e.g., data mining, machine learning, migration accounting models). The project is divided into two phases and six work packages. In the rst “designing phase” of the project, general modelling tools will be developed, the inventory and assessment of migration laws and policies will be produced, and the exploratory analyses of innovative data sources will be conducted. In the second “operational phase” (24 months), we will produce specific knowledge on the links between international migration, internal migration, migration policies, demo-economic changes, climatic factors and conflicts.


Journal Articles

1. Biermann, Marcus. The role of management practices in acquisitions and the FDI location decision. In: Review of International Economics, Vol. 30, no. 1, p. 137-165 (2022). doi:10.1111/roie.12561.

2. Breinlich, Holger; Leromain, Elsa; Novy, Dennis; Sampson, Thomas. The Brexit Vote, Inflation, and U.K Living Standards. In: International Economic Review, Vol. 63, no. 1, p. 63-93 (2022). doi:10.1111/iere.12541.

3. Guichard, Lucas; Machado, Joël; Maystadt, Jean-François. Réfugiés ukrainiens : un besoin de coordination renforcé. In: Regards économiques (Focus), , no.170, p. 1-12 (2022).

4. Leromain, Elsa; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. Voting under threat: Evidence from the 2020 French local elections. In: European Journal of Political Economy, (2022). doi:10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2022.102204 (Accepté/Sous presse).

5. Biermann, Marcus. Trade and the size distribution of firms: Evidence from the German Empire. In: German Economic Review, Vol. 22, no.3, p. 289-322 (2021). doi:10.1515/ger-2020-0048.

6. Breinlich, Holger; Leromain, Elsa; Novy, Dennis; Sampson, Thomas. Voting with their money: Brexit and outward investment by UK firms. In: European Economic Review, Vol. 124, p. 103400 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103400.

7. Hinz, Julian; Leromain, Elsa. Critically Important: The Heterogeneous Effect of Diplomatic Tensions on Trade. In: Review of Industrial Organization, Vol. 57, p. 309-331 (2020). doi:10.1007/s11151-020-09769-9.

8. Djajić, Slobodan; Docquier, Frédéric; Michael, Michael S. Optimal education policy and human capital accumulation in the context of brain drain. In: Journal of Demographic Economics, Vol. 85, no.4, p. 271-303 (2019). doi:10.1017/dem.2019.10.

9. Iftikhar, Zainab; Zaharieva, Anna. General equilibrium effects of immigration in Germany: Search and matching approach. In: Review of Economic Dynamics, Vol. 31, no.n/z, p. 245-276 (2019). doi:10.1016/

10. Mariani, Fabio; Pensieroso, Luca. Fiscalité et commerce international : quels enjeux pour l’immigration clandestine ?. In: Regards économiques, , no.148, p. 1-6 (2019). doi:10.14428/regardseco/2019.06.20.01.

11. Docquier, Frédéric; Iftikhar, Zainab. Brain drain, informality and inequality: a search-and-matching model for sub-Saharan Africa. In: Journal of International Economics, Vol. 120, p. 109-125 (September 2019). doi:10.1016/j.jinteco.2019.05.003.

12. Docquier, Frédéric; Kone, Zovanga L.; Mattoo, Aaditya; Ozden, Caglar. Labor market effects of demographic shifts and migration in OECD countries. In: European Economic Review, Vol. 113, p. 297-324 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2018.11.007.

13. Bos, Maraijke J. D.; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. Imported input varieties and product innovation: Evidence from five developing countries. In: Review of International Economics, Vol. 27, no.2, p. 520-548 (2019). doi:10.1111/roie.12387.

14. Bos, Marijke; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. Total factor productivity spillovers from trade reforms in India. In: Canadian Journal of Economics, Vol. 51, no. 2, p. 549-606 (2018).

15. Chabé-Ferret, Bastien; Machado Carneiro, Joël; Wahba, Jackie. Remigration intentions and migrants' behavior. In: Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 68, p. 56-72 (2018). doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2017.10.018.

16. Mariani, Fabio; Mercier, Marion; Verdier, Thierry. Diasporas and conflict. In: Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 18, no. 4, p. 761-793 (2018). doi:10.1093/jeg/lby014.

17. Dào, Thu Hién; Docquier, Frédéric; Parsons, Chris; Peri, Giovanni. Migration and development: Dissecting the anatomy of the mobility transition. In: Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 132, p. 88-101 (2018). doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2017.12.003.

18. Docquier, Frédéric. Long-term trends in international migration: lessons from macroeconomic model. In: Economics and Business Review, Vol. 4 (18), no.1, p. 3-15 (2018). doi:10.18559/ebr.2018.1.1.

19. Delogu, Marco; Docquier, Frédéric; Machado, Joël. Globalizing labor and the world economy: the role of human capital. In: Journal of Economic Growth, Vol. 23, no.2, p. 223-258 (2018). doi:10.1007/s10887-017-9153-z.

20. Docquier, Frédéric; Ruyssen, Ilse; Schiff, Maurice. International Migration: Pacifier or Trigger for Military Conflicts. In: The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 54, no.9, p. 1657-1679 (2018). doi:10.1080/00220388.2017.1355456.

21. Camacho, Carmen; Mariani, Fabio; Pensieroso, Luca. Dealing with Illegal Immigration: the Role of Informality, Taxation and Trade. In: Economia italiana, , no.1, p. 97-122 (2018).

22. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis. Massive migration and elections: evidence from the refugee crisis in Greece. In: International Migration, Vol. 56, no. 3, p. 28-43 (June 2018). doi:10.1111/imig.12409.

23. Dujardin, Claire; Louis, Virginie; Mayneris, Florian. Les pôles de compétitivité wallons. In: Revue d'économie régionale et urbaine, , no.2, p. 417-462 (2018). doi:10.3917/reru.182.0417.

24. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël. Income Disparities, Population and Migration Flows Over the Twenty First Century. In: Italian Economic Journal, Vol. 3, no.2, p. 125-149 (July 2017). doi:10.1007/s40797-017-0054-2.

25. Vasilakis, Chrysovalantis. Does talent migration increase inequality? A quantitative assessment in football labour market. In: Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Vol. 85, p. 150-166 (2017). doi:10.1016/j.jedc.2017.10.003.

26. Camacho Pérez, Maria del Carmen; Mariani, Fabio; Pensieroso, Luca. Illegal immigration and the shadow economy. In: International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 24, no.6, p. 1050-1080 (December 2017). doi:10.1007/s10797-017-9444-5.

27. Docquier, Frédéric; Müller, Tobias; Naval, Joaquín. Informality and Long-Run Growth. In: The Scandinavian journal of economics, Vol. 119, no. 4, p. 1040–1085 (October 2017). doi:10.1111/sjoe.12185.

28. Docquier, Frédéric. The Emigration-Development Nexus: Recent Advances from the Growth Theory Perspective. In: Revue d'économie du développement, Vol. 25, no.3, p. 45 (2017). doi:10.3917/edd.313.0045.

29. Curuk, Malik; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. Inter-sectoral labor reallocation in the short run: The role of occupational similarity. In: Journal of International Economics, Vol. 108, p. 20-36 (September 2017). doi:10.1016/j.jinteco.2017.05.003.

30. Docquier, Frédéric; Leruth, Luc. Economie du développement en Belgique. In: Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, Vol. LV, no.1 (2016).

31. Mercier, Marion; David, Anda; Mahia, Ramón; De Arce, Rafael. Reintegration upon return: insights from Ecuadorian returnees from Spain. In: International Migration, Vol. 54, no.6, p. 56-73 (December 2016). doi:10.1111/imig.12288.

32. Docquier, Frédéric; Lodigiani, Elisabetta; Rapoport, Hillel; Schiff, Maurice. Emigration and Democracy. In: Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 120, p. 209-223 (May 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.12.001.

33. Ariu, Andrea; Docquier, Frédéric; Squicciarini, Mara P. Governance quality and net migration flows. In: Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 60, p. 238-248 (September 2016). doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2016.07.006.

34. Docquier, Frédéric. Émigration, capital humain et développement : enseignements des recherches récentes menées à l’IRES. In: Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, Vol. LV, no.1, p. 73-87 (2016). doi:10.3917/rpve.551.0073.

35. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël. Global Competition for Attracting Talents and the World Economy. In: The World Economy, Vol. 39, no.4, p. 530-542 (April 2016). doi:10.1111/twec.12267.

36. Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague; Wang, Zheng; Yu, Zhihong. Volatility and Diversification of Exports: Firm-Level Theory and Evidence. In: European Economic Review, Vol. 89, p. 216-247 (2016). doi:10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.07.002.

37. Aubry, Amandine; Burzynski, Michal; Docquier, Frédéric. The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries. In: Journal of International Economics, Vol. 101, p. 1-21 (July 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.03.005.

38. Ourens Brocos, Guzman. Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms revisited. In: Journal of International Economics, Vol. 100, p. 194-202 (May 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.03.006.

39. Le Goff, Maëlan; Salomone, Sara. Remittances and the Changing Composition of Migration. In: The World Economy, Vol. 39, no.4, p. 513-529 (April 2016). doi:10.1111/twec.12266.

40. Schiff, Maurice; Docquier, Frédéric. Institutional impact of brain drain, human capital and inequality: a political economy analysis. In: Latin American Journal of Economics, Vol. 53, no.1, p. 95-110 (December 2016).

41. Mercier, Marion. The return of the prodigy son: Do return migrants make better leaders?. In: Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 122, p. 76-91 (September 2016). doi:10.1016/j.econmod.2012.10.006.

42. Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague; Janeba, Eckhard. Trade and the political economy of redistribution. In: Journal of International Economics, Vol. 98, p. 233-244 (January 2016). doi:10.1016/j.jinteco.2015.09.008.

43. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël. Crise des réfugiés : quelques clarifications s'imposent !. In: Regards économiques, , no.119, p. 1-6 (octobre 2015).

44. Bertoli, Simon; Docquier, Frédéric. International Migration and Inequality Across Nations. In: The World Economy, , p. 1-2 (March 2015). doi:10.1111/twec.12263 (Accepté/Sous presse).

45. Artuc, Erhan; Docquier, Frédéric; Özden, , Çaglar; Parsons, Christopher. A Global Assessment of Human Capital Mobility: The Role of Non-OECD Destinations. In: World Development, Vol. 65, p. 6-26 (2015). doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.04.004.

46. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël; Sekkat, Khalid. Efficiency Gains from Liberalizing Labor Mobility. In: The Scandinavian journal of economics, Vol. 117, no.2, p. 303-346 (April 2015). doi:10.1111/sjoe.12097.

47. Beine, Michel; Docquier, Frédéric; Özden, Çağlar. Dissecting network externalities in international migration. In: Journal of Demographic Economics, Vol. 81, no.4, p. 379-408 (December 2015). doi:10.1017/dem.2015.13.

Book Chapters

1. Docquier, Frédéric. L’immigration menace-t-elle notre économie?. In: L'apport de l'autre : Dépasser la peur des migrants (Compétences interculturelles; xxx), L'Harmattan: Paris, 2017, p. 53-58. 978-2-343-11632-7. xxx xxx.

2. Docquier, Frédéric. The global costs from migration barriers. In: Refugees and Economic Migrants: Facts, policies and challenges , CEPR Press: London, 2016, p. 151-161. xxx xxx.

3. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël. Remittances and migration prospects for the 21st century. In: Financing sustainable development; Adressing vulnerabilites , Economica: Paris, 2015, p. 217-230. 978-2-9550779-0-0. xxx xxx.

4. Docquier, Frédéric; Machado Carneiro, Joël. Remittance and Migration Prospects for the Twenty-First Century. In: Financing Sustainable Development: Addressing Vulnerabilities , Economica: Paris, 2015, p. 217-230. 978-2-9550779-0-0. xxx xxx.

Working Papers

1. Kadigo, Mark Marvin; Oumou Diallo, Nene; Maystadt, Jean-François. How to Cope with a Refugee Shock? Evidence from Uganda. 2022. 97 p. World Bank Group Policy Research Working Paper 9950. ;

2. Bartinelli, Luisito; Cömertpay, Rana; Maystadt, Jean-François. Refugees, Diversity and Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. 2022. 44 p. World Bank Group Policy Research Working Paper 10052. ;

3. Parenti, Mathieu; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. A Simple Theory of Deep Trade Integration. 2021. 30 p. Respect Working Paper sept.-2019.

4. Hillrichs, Dorothee; Vannoorenberghe, Gonzague. Trade costs, home bias and the unequal gains from trade. 2021. 40 p. LIDAM Discussion Paper IRES/2021/05.

5. Biermann, Marcus. Remote talks: changes to economics seminars during Covid-19. 2021. 45 p. CEP Discussion Paper 1759.

6. Dimitri Defrance; Delesalle, Esther; Flore Gubert. Is migration drought-induced in Mali? An empirical analysis using panel data on Malian localities over the 1987-2009 period. 2020. 47 p. IRES Discussion papers 2020003.

7. Céline Piton; François Rycx. The Heterogeneous Employment Outcomes of First- and Second-generation Immigrants in Belgium. 2020. 58 p. IRES Discussion papers 2020007.

8. Turati, Riccardo. Network-Based Connectedness And The Diffusion Of Cultural Traits. 2020. 115 p. IRES Discussion Papers 2020012.

9. Michal Burzynski; Christoph Deuster; Docquier, Frédéric; Jaime de Melo. Climate Change, Inequality, and Human Migration. 2019. 64 p. IRES Discussion papers 2019014.

10. Dany Bahar; Hillel Rapoport; Turati, Riccardo. Does Birthplace Diversity Affect Economic Complexity ? Cross-Country Evidence. 2019. 52 p. IRES Discussion papers 2019020.

11. Raouf Boucekkine; Giorgio Fabbri; Salvatore Federico; Fausto Gozzi; Leblanc, Virginie. A Spatiotemporal Framework For The Analytical Study Of Optimal Growth Under Transboundary Pollution. 2019. 27 p. IRES Discussion papers 2019016.


1. Cordisco, Isabella; Meda, Stefania G.; Ortensi, Livia; Salomone, Sara. Famiglia in Migrazione. Rubettino Editore: Soveria Manelli, 2015. 9788849843682. 140 pages.