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FRDB Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti

Inventory of migration policies (1990-2005)

Reforms and index on strictness of migration policy

23 April 2009

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The Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti collected information about migration policy reforms in the EU15 countries (except Belgium, Luxembourg and Sweden) over the period 1990-2005. The attached tables provide information on the sign of each reform, analyzing whether the measure increased the generosity of the immigration policy. We define a reform as permissive if: it lowers requirements for entry and to obtain residence or work permits, it introduces one temporary permits for both residence and work, it reduces the number of years to obtain permanent residence permit, and if it helps the integration of migrants into the community. On the other hand, a reform is considered as restrictive if:  it introduces a quota system to entry , it increases requirements for entry and to obtain residence or work permits, it raises the number of years to obtain permanent residence permit and it introduces residence constraints.

 

In order to construct an index of strictness of migration policies, we collected information on twelve EU15 countries, from 1990 to 2005, along six different dimensions:

  1. The number of certificates and procedures needed to be admitted as a foreigner, whatever the motivations may be.
  2. The number of certification or procedures required to legally reside in the territory. This differs from the requirements for entering the country as holding a valid document is typically not sufficient.
  3. The number of years required to obtain a permanent residence permit.
  4. The number of administrations involved
  5. The number of years of stay required to obtain a first residence permit.
  6. The existence of a quota system


The six dimensions were initially expressed either in different units or in an ordinal scale. To make those measures comparable, we converted them in cardinal scores and we normalized them to a range from 0 to 6, with higher score representing stricter regulation.

The previous six criteria only apply to immigration for economic reasons. We excluded from our classification text laws that strictly concern asylum policy or citizenship.

However, in the above table, we also report an index of strictness of asylum legislation developed by Hatton (2004)1.

As a last step, we computed an overall summary indicator for each country, averaging the values of the six sub-indexes plus the index of strictness of asylum legislation. The attached document provides detailed explanation about the construction of the sub-indexes.

 

Strictness of immigration policy in 12 European countries (1994-2005)

 

  

 (1)

 (2)

 (3)

(4) 

(5) 

(6) 

(7) 

(8) 

 Country

 # admission req. 

 # residence req. 

 # years to obtain perma residence 

 # admin. involved 

 Length of the first stay 

 Existence of a quota system 

 Asylum legislation 

 Overall index 

Austria

 0

 4.5

 1

 4

 2

 4

 4

 2.8

Denmark

 0

 6

 2

 4

 4

 2

 4.5

 3.2

Finland

 4

 3

 1

 2

 4

 2

 3.5

 2.8

France

 0

 0

 1

 2

 2

 2

 3.5

 1.5

Germany

 0

 6

 1

 2

 2

 2

 5

 2.6

Greece

 0

 3

 4

 4

 2

 2

 4

 2.7

Ireland

 2

 4.5

 4

 4

 2

 2

 2

 2.9

Italy

 4

 4.5

 2

 2

 2

 4

 3.5

 3.1

Netherlands

 4

 1.5

 1

 4

 4

 2

 4.5

 3

Portugal

 4

 3

 3

 2

 2

 4

 3.5

 3.1

Spain

 6

 1.5

 1

 4

 2

 4

 4

 3.2

United Kingdom

 2

 1.5

 4

 4

 2

 2

 4.9

 2.9

 


 Credits: Serena Fumagalli, Tito Boeri


Related publications and quotations:
• J. Jacobs, "Migration Decisions and the Welfare State: An Analysis of Seven European Countries", Master Thesis, Tilburg University, 2011.
 

Attachments
 

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