Health-Caregivers on the Global Labor Market: A Comparative Study of Japan's Economic Partnership Agreements and Germany's Triple Win Program

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Gabriele VOGT, University of Hamburg, Germany
Japan and Germany are in the midst of substantial demographic changes with a combination of low birth rates and high life expectancies triggering population aging and population decline. The decline of the working age population is particularly pronounced and results in labor shortages in some industries. One of the business sectors most severely hit by Japan’s and Germany’s demographic developments is health-caregiving, where the mismatch of demand and supply is particularly pronounced: While an increasing number of elderly are in need of health-caregiving, the number of those who chose to enter the professions is on the decline. Recently and reluctantly both countries have jumped onto the bandwagon of international health-caregiver recruitment. They both do so via bilateral treaties signed with a number of nations in Southeast Asia respectively in Eastern Europe and North Africa; with the Philippines being the one sending country Japan and Germany alike are aiming to recruit from. Both migration schemes, however, have proven to be unattractive to potential employers and employees alike. By studying the underlying policy-making processes, this paper explores the factors that lead to the design of what can be called faulty programs. Differences and similarities in the policy-making process will be studied – and a special focus will be given to the supranational level – in order to highlight the diverging paths that lead to equally insufficient programs. Ultimately this paper aims at suggesting ways to avoid pitfalls of international labor migration schemes.