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New Labour? The Effects of Migration from Central and Eastern Europe on Unemployment and Wages in the UK

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  • Lemos Sara

    () (Department of Economics, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, England)

  • Portes Jonathan

    () (National Institute of Economic and Social Research, 2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square London SW1P 3HE, UK)

Abstract

The UK was one of only three countries that granted free movement of workers to accession nationals following the enlargement of the European Union in May 2004. The resulting migration inflow, which was substantially larger and faster than anticipated, arguably corresponds more closely to an exogenous supply shock than most migration shocks studied in the literature. We evaluate the impact of this migration inflow – one of the largest in British history – on the UK labour market. We use new monthly micro-level data and an empirical approach that investigates which of several particular labour markets in the UK – with varying degrees of natives’ mobility and migrants’ self-selection – may have been affected. We found little evidence that the inflow of accession migrants contributed to a fall in wages or a rise in claimant unemployment in the UK between 2004 and 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Lemos Sara & Portes Jonathan, 2013. "New Labour? The Effects of Migration from Central and Eastern Europe on Unemployment and Wages in the UK," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 299-338, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:14:y:2013:i:1:p:299-338:n:7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Blanchflower & Jumana Saleheen & Chris Shadforth, 2007. "The impact of the recent migration from Eastern Europe on the UK economy," Discussion Papers 17, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    2. Joshua D. Angrist & Adriana D. Kugler, 2003. "Protective or counter-productive? labour market institutions and the effect of immigration on eu natives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(488), pages 302-331, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Nunziata, 2015. "Immigration and crime: evidence from victimization data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 697-736, July.
    2. Cinzia Rienzo & Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2015. "Targeting migration with limited control: the case of the UK and the EU," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, December.
    3. Elvira Nica, 2015. "Labor Market Determinants of Migration Flows in Europe," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, January.

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