The economic contribution of Indian migrants to the EU -Two sector case studies

In an attempt to understand better the drivers and impact of economic contributions of Indian immigrants to destination country economies at a micro level, this study focuses on two country-sector case studies - dairy/cheese industry in Northern Italy and the IT sector in the Netherlands.

This paper examines the economic impacts of migration from India to the EU through the lens of two sector case studies: the information and technology (IT) sector in The Netherlands, and the agricultural sector in Italy (with a focus on the dairy sector in certain Northern regions). In both cases, Indian migrants have played a central role in the recent development of the sector, and, we might hypothesize, have enabled the expansion of output and productivity growth. The purpose of this paper is therefore to increase our understanding, at a micro level, of the specific mechanisms by which migration – both high and low skilled – may have potentially impacted economic outcomes.

The contrast between the relatively positive experience of Indian migrants and some more recent migrants flows (particularly from Africa) to Italy and other EU countries again suggests that there are lessons to be learned; regularisation programmes, particularly if they facilitate family reunification and labour market integration, can allow groups of migrants who might otherwise be trapped more-or-less permanently in precarious working and living positions to have positive economic and social outcomes, both for themselves and for the host country.