Trade liberalization and the skill composition of migrant flows: the case of morocco

Trade liberalization and the skill composition of migrant flows: the case of morocco

Several recent studies have investigated the relation between trade liberalisation and emigration in Morocco, without looking at the impact of trade liberalisation on skilled and unskilled migration. This paper investigates the effects of trade liberalisation on the skill composition of migrant flows in Morocco.

The paper illustrates that trade liberalisation will be problematic for an unskilled-labour abundant country like Morocco, if it gives incentives to skilled workers to move across borders. The author formulates a dynamic computable general equilibrium model that illustrates the transmission channels by which trade liberalisation affects local wages and migration incentives.

Using the Moroccan Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) of 2003, the results show that gradual liberalisation lowers rural wage, thus motivating rural migration. However, it improves the situation of skilled and unskilled workers in urban areas. Identically, the results show that both the free trade agreement with the European Union and multilateral liberalisation reduce skilled and unskilled migration flows, but is more pronounced in the multilateral case.

The document concludes that efforts should be pursued for additional liberalisation. In this respect, it demonstrates that with multilateral liberalisation, the economy grows more, stressing that the more the economy grows, the more migration flows are able to decrease.