Skilled Labor Mobility and Migration


Skilled Labor Mobility and Migration

Challenges and Opportunities for the ASEAN Economic Community

9781788116169 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Elisabetta Gentile, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank, Philippines
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78811 616 9 Extent: 320 pp
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY 3.0 IGO License. It is free to read, download and share on

One of the primary objectives of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), established in 2015, was to boost skilled labor mobility within the region. This insightful book takes stock of the existing trends and patterns of skilled labor migration in the ASEAN. It endeavors to identify the likely winners and losers from the free movement of natural persons within the region through counterfactual policy simulations. Finally, it discusses existing issues and obstacles through case studies, as well as other sectoral examples.

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Critical Acclaim
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Regional integration plays an important role in the advance of economic and social development across many parts of the world. Generating growth and expanding markets, it boosts productivity through the exchange of ideas, technologies, and human resources. This book explores the key vision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): fostering the free flow of goods, services, investment, and skilled labor in order to establish a globally competitive region with a single market and production base.

Bringing together contributions from renowned scholars in their respective fields, this book takes stock of the trends and patterns of skilled labor migration in the ASEAN, examining the existing literature and adding to it with unique insights drawn from original case studies and policy simulations. Identifying the challenges posed by recent significant changes, this book also looks to the future, to identify potential policy responses. The contributions dispel a common assumption that skill mobility is a zero-sum game, and instead contend that it can be mutually beneficial for both sides.

With rigorous quantitative analysis, this book will be a useful tool for both policy practitioners and policymakers as well as for researchers and students of international development, economics, and Asian studies.
Critical Acclaim
‘The first of its kind, this book seeks to lay the foundation for a serious discussion of intra-ASEAN labor mobility, a critical pillar of economic and financial integration. All ten chapters provide the necessary research foundation for an informed discussion of skilled labor migration in the ASEAN region, and the book is an essential read for policymakers to effectively implement MRAs in pursuit of the AEC aspirations. It is a timely book to educate not only the leaders, but ASEAN’s people, on what they can become and how to achieve it.’
– Angeli Patricia Cheng Romero, Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law

‘This book is highly informative on both theoretical and policy fronts, thereby offering a valuable tool for policymakers as well as researchers or students who are interested in international economic development of Asian economies.’
– Hai Anh La, Asian-Pacific Economic Literature
Contributors: A. Aguiar, R.P. Anwar, E. Corong, H. Dinh, A. Fink, E. Gentile, S. Kar, M. Kato, A. Kikkawa, K. Mukhopadhyay, S.W. Paweenawat, E.B. Suan, J. Vechbanyongratana



1. Trends and patterns in intra-ASEAN migration
Aiko Kikkawa and Eric B. Suan

2. Skilled migration in the literature: What we know, what we think we know, and why it matters to know the difference
Elisabetta Gentile

3. Economic impacts of skilled labor mobility within the ASEAN Economic Community
Erwin Corong and Angel Aguiar

4. Implications of ASEAN economic integration on services: a global computable general equilibrium analysis
Kakali Mukhopadhyay

5. Employment effects of removal of restrictions on the movement of natural persons in the ASEAN banking sector
Huong Dinh

6. Skills mobility and postsecondary education in the ASEAN Economic Community
Maki Kato

7. Institutionalized costs and international migration patterns
Saibal Kar

8. Expanding skilled-worker mobility: Comparing the migration of Indonesian careworkers to Taipei,China and Indonesian nurses and careworkers to Japan
Ratih Pratiwi Anwar

9. Will ASEAN mutual recognition arrangements induce skilled workers to move? A case study of the engineering labor market in Thailand
Sasiwimon Warunsiri Paweenawat and Jessica Vechbanyongratana

10. Skill flows and the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Future questions and directions for the ASEAN Economic Community
Anna Fink and Elisabetta Gentile

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