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Local-level immigration and life satisfaction: The EU enlargement experience in England and Wales

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  • Artjoms Ivlevs
  • Michail Veliziotis

Abstract

The 2004 European Union enlargement resulted in an unprecedented wave of 1.5 million workers relocating from Eastern Europe to the UK. We study the links between this migrant inflow and life satisfaction of native residents in England and Wales. Combining the British Household Panel Survey with the Local Authority level administrative data from the Worker Registration Scheme, we find that higher levels of local immigration were associated with a decrease in life satisfaction among older, unemployed and lower-income people, and with an increase in life satisfaction among younger, employed, higher-income and better educated people. These findings are driven by the initial ‘migration shock’ – the inflows that occurred in the first two years after the enlargement. Overall, our study highlights the importance of local-level immigration in shaping the life satisfaction of receiving populations. We also argue that our results help explain the socio-demographic patterns observed in the UK Brexit vote.

Suggested Citation

  • Artjoms Ivlevs & Michail Veliziotis, 2018. "Local-level immigration and life satisfaction: The EU enlargement experience in England and Wales," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 50(1), pages 175-193, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envira:v:50:y:2018:i:1:p:175-193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Artjoms Ivlevs & Milena Nikolova & Carol Graham, 2019. "Emigration, remittances, and the subjective well-being of those staying behind," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(1), pages 113-151, January.
    2. Ivlevs, Artjoms & King, Roswitha M., 2019. "To Europe or Not to Europe? Migration and Public Support for Joining the European Union in the Western Balkans," IZA Discussion Papers 12254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. O’Connor, Kelsey J., 2019. "The effect of immigration on natives’ well-being in the European Union," GLO Discussion Paper Series 352, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Papageorgiou, Athanasios, 2018. "The Effect of Immigration on the Well-Being of Native Populations: Evidence from the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 93045, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Immigration; life satisfaction; spatial correlation approach; United Kingdom; 2004 European Union enlargement;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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