Skilled migrants from Colombia, India and South Africa in Switzerland: empirical evidence and policy responses- Preface by Jean-Baptiste Meyer
Edited By Gabriela Tejada Guerrero and Jean-Claude Bolay
Chapter 4 Highly Skilled Migrants in the Swiss Labour Market, with a Special Focus on Migrants from Developing Countries by Marco PECORARO and Rosita FIBBI 179
Chapter 4 Highly Skilled Migrants in the Swiss Labour Market, with a Special Focus on Migrants from Developing Countries Marco PECORARO1 with the collaboration of Rosita FIBBI 1. Introduction After the Second World War, many industrialized countries – including Switzer- land – resorted to procyclical exploitation of foreign workers, who were essen- tially low-skilled. The practice of such an immigration policy was initially used to satisfy the excessive internal labour demand during an economic boom, thereby sustaining growth (Salt et al., 2004). The determinants of economic growth have changed progressively since the oil crisis of the 1970s. According to the new growth theory, human capital2 is one of the necessary bases for economic growth (Lucas, 1988). Indeed, the gross domestic expenditure on research and development (R & D) increased significantly during the 1990s and the field of science and technology (referred to as S & T hereafter)3 grew considerably in the majority of developed coun- tries, including Switzerland (Pastor, 2000). Moreover, the relative labour de- mand for highly skilled workers has increased at the expense of the less skilled, which is more commonly referred to as skill bias technological change. At the same time, we have observed an increase in the relative total labour supply of qualified workers. Accordingly, the nature of migration flows, which was mainly characterized by a low-skilled labour force, has evolved in favour of highly skilled labour (Pecoraro, 2005). 1 Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. 2 The human capital indicates any form...
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