How would the world be without borders

World without borders

We should know our own limits. But beyond that, we can confidently say goodbye to the concept of state borders - at least insofar as borders restrict people's mobility. This idea may seem unthinkable at first and seem like a naive utopia, but unlimited mobility has long been a reality within the European Union (EU), for example.

And enormous economic potential could be tapped on a global scale. Economists expect that in this way the gross domestic product of the world could be increased considerably, possibly even doubled. The effect would be much greater than the potential gains from the free movement of goods and capital. For the first time, poverty could be combated on a global scale. That would be a courageous program for social equilibrium.

We don't have too much, but too little international mobility. Fears that “rich” countries face a massive influx of immigrants are unrealistic. The actual migration potentials in the case of free movement are systematically overestimated - one only needs to recall the horror scenarios that circulated in this regard before the EU's Easter expansion. Virtually none of this has come true. Today around 97% of the world's people live in the country where they were born. An optimal allocation of resources cannot be achieved in this way.

Of course, unlimited mobility would increase the number of immigrants to “rich” countries. However, it is a common misconception that this would have negative effects on the local population. On the contrary: studies show the positive effects of immigration on wages and employment. Our social security systems are already largely based on immigrants - not the other way around! This situation will be exacerbated by demographic change.

Negative effects of open borders could arise for countries from which people emigrate. This overlooks the great potential that arises from remittances and innovation impulses from the diaspora. Open borders lead to temporary and circular hikes. Many people who want to migrate do not intend to stay in one country permanently. This will be reinforced by the option to return to open borders and thus counteract a “brain drain”.

Unlimited prosperity through mobility without limits? Indeed, when we think through the unthinkable, greater prosperity appears possible for all.