Low Population Mobility in European Union

A recent Economist article discusses the low cross-border population mobility within the European Union despite large variations in the unemployment rate across European nations.  This variation in unemployment rate can be seen in the first chart from the article, which shows Spain at approximately 23% unemployment as of March 2012 and Austria at less than 5%.  However, as the second graph from the article shows, few Europeans migrate within their countries and even fewer across countries in the European Union relative to the US, Canada and Australia.  The article suggests that this low mobility could be a result of language barriers, higher transaction fees and taxes for home-buyers and disincentives to move from large unemployment benefits, among other things.


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