Tag Archives: Mobility

Drivers of High Skilled Migration into Switzerland

In the December Issue of Die Volkswirtschaft, Ronald Indergand and Andreas Beerli argue that increased high skilled migration into Switzerland mainly resulted from (i) higher educational attainment in the source countries and (ii) stronger demand by Swiss firms for high skilled labor.

The authors argue that the agreement between Switzerland and the European Union on the free mobility of labor (which is in force since 2002) did not contribute to an improved skill mix. Rather to the contrary, lower barriers to migration for EU citizens might have contributed to a slight reduction in the average skill of immigrants from the EU.

Tax Federalism

In the NZZMarius Brülhart and Kurt Schmidheiny discuss the Swiss experience with a federalist tax system. Cantonal and municipal taxes average roughly 40 percent of the total tax take in Switzerland, see the first figure.


The decentralized tax system, tax competition between cantons and communities as well as mobility of high income tax payers imply that the effective average income tax rate substantially falls short of the unweighted average tax rate on high incomes. In fact, the effective average tax rate is degressive for high incomes, see the second figure (which the authors reproduce from an article by Roller and Schmidheiny (2015)).