In a public speech at the Central European University on May 8, 2019, GLO President Zimmermann delivered his George Soros Lecture on “Global Labor Economics: Challenges and Benefits”. Martin Kahanec, Professor, GLO Fellow and Head of the School of Public Policy, was introducing Zimmermann to a larger group of interested participants, and chaired the discussion after the talk. Kahanec and Zimmermann had published various books and articles together dealing with global labor economics, in particular on the consequences of EU enlargement and migration.
Klaus F. Zimmermann is the George Soros Chair Professor at the School of Public Policy of the Central European University (CEU) teaching a student class on Global Labor Economics in the 2019 Spring term. He is also the President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), the Section Chair for Economics, Business and Management of the Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Science, and Professor Emeritus of Bonn University.
Summarizing major aspects from his class, Zimmermann explained in the lecture why global labor economics can contribute forcefully to the wealth of nations. Connecting his work to Adam Smith, he suggested that global labor mobility is the ultimate consequence of the division of work which is the driving force behind economic development and global wellbeing. While most research on global labor economics documents that migration is beneficial for the economy (economic efficiency) and hence the basis of wellbeing of people, he argues that it is necessary to develop multi-ethnic social and cultural identities to make this outcome also socially effective in society.
In its Winter 2019 issue of “The International Economy”, the Washington DC based magazine of international economic policy, has featured a prominent symposium of views on “Why is Populism on the Rise and What Do the Populists Want?”. Klaus F. Zimmermann, the President of the Global Labor Organization (GLO), Bonn University Professor and UNU-MERIT/Maastricht affiliated economist, who is currently the George Soros Chair Professor at the School of Public Policy of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, had been asked to contribute to this debate. The link to the full text of the symposium is here. Please find the contribution of Zimmermann also below, which is in close relationship to his George Soros Lecture.