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The impact of immigration on occupational wages: evidence from Britain

Listed author(s):
  • Nickell, Stephen

    (Nuffield College, University of Oxford)

  • Saleheen, Jumana

    ()

    (Bank of England)

This paper asks whether immigration to Britain has had any impact on average wages. There seems to be a broad consensus among academics that the share of immigrants in the workforce has little or no effect on native wages. These studies typically have not refined their analysis by breaking it down into different occupational groups. Our contribution is to extend the existing literature on immigration to include occupations as well. We find that the immigrant to native ratio has a small negative impact on average British wages. This finding is important for monetary policy makers, who are interested in the impact that supply shocks, such as immigration, have on average wages and overall inflation. Our results also reveal that the biggest impact of immigration on wages is within the semi/unskilled services occupational group. We also investigate if there is any differential impact between immigration from the EU and non-EU, and find that there is no additional impact on aggregate UK wages as a result of migrants arriving specifically from EU countries. These findings accord well with intuition and anecdotal evidence, but have not been recorded previously in the empirical literature.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2015/swp574.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 574.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 18 Dec 2015
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0574
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  1. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2006. "The Impact of Immigration on the Structure of Male Wages: Theory and Evidence from Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0608, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  2. Ethan Lewis, 2005. "Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique," Working Papers 05-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. John DiNardo & David Card, 2000. "Do Immigrant Inflows Lead to Native Outflows?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 360-367, May.
  4. David Card, 1990. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(2), pages 245-257, January.
  5. David Card, 2005. "Is the New Immigration Really so Bad?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 300-323, November.
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2008. "Immigration and National Wages: Clarifying the Theory and the Empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 6916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173, April.
  8. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marco Manacorda & Alan Manning & Jonathan Wadsworth, 2012. "The Impact Of Immigration On The Structure Of Wages: Theory And Evidence From Britain," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 120-151, 02.
  10. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Smith, Ron, 1995. "Estimating long-run relationships from dynamic heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 79-113, July.
  11. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
  12. Timothy Hatton, 2002. "Why Has UK Net Immigration Increased?," CEPR Discussion Papers 457, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  13. Baltagi, Badi H. & Li, Qi, 1995. "Testing AR(1) against MA(1) disturbances in an error component model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 133-151, July.
  14. Abdurrahman Aydemir & George J. Borjas, 2011. "Attenuation Bias in Measuring the Wage Impact of Immigration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 69-113, 01.
  15. Paul Beaudry & Mark Doms & Ethan Lewis, 2006. "Endogenous Skill Bias in Technology Adoption: City-Level Evidence from the IT Revolution," NBER Working Papers 12521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2005. "The Impact of Immigration on the British Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 324-341, November.
  17. Ethan Lewis, 2003. "Local, open economies within the U.S.: how do industries respond to immigration?," Working Papers 04-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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