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Explaining Trends in UK Immigration

  • Hatton, Timothy J.

Since the 1970s Britain has gone from being a country of net emigration to one of net immigration, with a trend increase in immigration of more than 100,000 per year. This Paper represents the first attempt to model the variations in net migration for British and for foreign citizens, across countries and over time. A simple economic model, which includes the selection effects of differing income distributions at home and abroad, largely accounts for the variations in the data. The results suggest that while improved economic performance in the UK relative to overseas has tended to increase immigration, rising UK inequality has had an even larger effect. Immigration policies at home and abroad have also increased net immigration, particularly in the 1990s.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4019.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4019
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  1. David Karemera & Victor Iwuagwu Oguledo & Bobby Davis, 2000. "A gravity model analysis of international migration to North America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1745-1755.
  2. Barrett, Alan & FitzGerald, John & Nolan, Brian, 2002. "Earnings inequality, returns to education and immigration into Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 665-680, November.
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-91, September.
  4. Winkelmann, Rainer, 2000. "Immigration Policies and their Impact: The Case of New Zealand and Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 169, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Tom Clark & Jayne Taylor, 1999. "Income inequality: a tale of two cycles?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 387-408, December.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1991. "Immigration Policy, National Origin, and Immigrant Skills: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," NBER Working Papers 3691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1999. "The Economic Goals of Canada's Immigration Policy, Past and Present," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 25(4), pages 425-451, December.
  9. Alan G. Green & David A. Green, 1995. "Canadian Immigration Policy: The Effectiveness of the Point System and Other Instruments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4b), pages 1006-41, November.
  10. Ximena Clark & Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "Where Do U.S. Immigrants Come From, and Why?," NBER Working Papers 8998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hatton, Timothy J. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 1999. "Migration, Migrants and Policy in the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 81, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Dustmann, Christian & Francesca Fabbri & Ian Preston, 2003. "The Local Labour Market Effects of Immigration in the UK," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 70, Royal Economic Society.
  13. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bob Anderton, 1997. "UK Labour Market Reforms and Sectoral Wage Formation," NIESR Discussion Papers 121, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  15. Robert I. Lerman, 1999. "U.S. Wage-Inequality Trends and Recent Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 23-28, May.
  16. Bauer, Thomas K. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1999. "Report No. 3: Assessment of Possible Migration Pressure and its Labour Market Impact Following EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Research Reports 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 1993. "Small Differences That Matter: Labor Markets and Income Maintenance in Canada and the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card93-1, December.
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