Evidence-based regulation of labour migration in OECD countries: setting quotas, selection criteria, and shortage lists

Jonathan Chaloff


The growing complexity of selection criteria for discretionary labour migration in OECD countries has been accompanied by an expanded demand for labour market analysis and consultation with stakeholders. While some features of general or detailed criteria may be fixed in legislation, numerical quotas or targets, shortage lists, and multiple-criteria points-based systems are generally subject to periodic review and revision based on labour market data and consultation with stakeholders. Official government bodies have maintained co-ordination of this process, with varying degrees of externalization. In most countries expertise is internal, with recourse to external mandated bodies rare. In almost all cases, however, the process is designed to promote consensus around the policy while maintaining political control.


Labour migration; migration legislation; policy making

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