Autoren: Alecke, B., Huber, P., Untiedt, G.
Hrsg.: OECD: Migration Policies and EU Enlargement. The Case of Central and Eastern Europe OECD Proceedings , S. 63-78
In 1997, officially 950 000 persons from the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) lived in the European Union. This amounted to a share of 0.2% of the total population, only. This migration, however, was unevenly spread across European Union countries: 527 000 citizens of the CEECs lived in Germany, 103 000 in Austria. In terms of share of population Austria was the most strongly affected country before Germany. Although the economic consequences of this migration are still disputed, their political impact has been highly visible in terms of changes in migration policies in both countries, and to a large degree these experiences of early transition influence discussions on the accession of the CEECs in the European Union. Undoubtedly the question most often asked concerning enlargement is: how many migrants will come? A series of economic studies has recently addressed this issue concentrating on the so called "gravity equations" i.e. by focusing (almost) exclusively on per capita GDP differentials as the driving force behind international migration.
In this paper we confront this gravity approach both with theory and empirical data in an effort to assess a) the quality of existing estimates of "potential migration" and b) the possibility of predicting international migration in general. To this end we shortly describe the results of previous studies, which attempt to assess the migration potential from Central and Eastern Europe, and confront them with migration theory. In the following we analyse two examples of migration: East-West migration in Germany after unification and intra EU migration in the period 1983-91 and estimates models of migration. Then we check how well the estimated models would have predicted migration between East and West Germany and between Spain and Germany after 1992, respectively.