International labour mobility and uneven regional development in Europe: human capital, knowledge and entrepreneurship

Alan Williams, Vladimir Balaz, Claire Denise Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Economic geographers have tended to neglect human mobility, and yet international labour migration constitutes significant flows that shape and are shaped by institutionally specific economic spaces. Three underlying themes run through the paper. First, the role of social networks in mediating relationships between flows and spaces. Second, the recomposition of the spatiality and temporality of flows in response to Europeanization and globalization, evident especially in the emergence of increased but differentiated skilled labour mobility. And, third, the locking into space - however temporarily - of inherently 'sticky' flows of labour mobility. These themes are investigated through an exploration of how the human capital, knowledge and financial capital embedded in migrants are created and articulated by migrants' local and trans-local relationships in their spaces of origin and destination. Finally, the paper reflects on some of the ways in which the intersection of migration flows and spaces mediate patterns of uneven regional development in Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-46
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Urban and Regional Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • human capital
  • knowledge
  • migration
  • mobility
  • regions
  • remittances
  • global city
  • brain-drain
  • Hong-Kong
  • globalization
  • Immigration
  • immigration
  • migrants
  • economy
  • world
  • markets


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