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The impact of immigration on occupational wages: evidence from Britain

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  • Nickell, Stephen
  • Saleheen, Jumana

Abstract

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 the pay rates of the indigenous population. But the studies in the literature have typically not refined their analysis by breaking it down into different occupational groups. In this paper we find that once the occupational breakdown is incorporated into a regional analysis of immigration in Britain, the immigrant-native ratio has a significant, small, negative impact on average wages. Closer examination reveals that the biggest impact is in the semi/unskilled services sector. This finding accords well with intuition and anecdote, but does not seem to have been recorded previously in the empirical literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Nickell, Stephen & Saleheen, Jumana, 2009. "The impact of immigration on occupational wages: evidence from Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33272, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:33272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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.
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    9. 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, January.
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    12. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Peri, Giovanni, 2005. "Rethinking the Gains from Immigration: Theory and Evidence from the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 5226, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    14. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Torben M. Andersen & Giuseppe Bertola & John Driffill & Clemens Fuest & Harold James & Jan-Egbert Sturm & Branko Uroševic, 2017. "Chapter 3: Britain and EUexit - The People Versus the EU," EEAG Report on the European Economy, CESifo Group Munich, vol. 0, pages 67-81, March.
    2. Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2014. "Immigration, the European union and the UK labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57984, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Lawton, Helen, 2008. "The Impact of the Recent Expansion of the EU on the UK Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 3695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:163-84 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Thomas Sampson, 2017. "Brexit: The Economics of International Disintegration," CESifo Working Paper Series 6668, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini & Caroline Halls, 2010. "Assessing the Fiscal Costs and Benefits of A8 Migration to the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 1-41, March.
    7. Siudek, Tomasz & Zawojska, Aldona, 2016. "Foreign labour in agricultural sectors of some EU countries," 160th Seminar, December 1-2, 2016, Warsaw, Poland 249797, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. repec:bla:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:6:p:1253-1286 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Thomas Sampson, 2017. "Brexit: The Economics of International Disintegration," CEP Discussion Papers dp1499, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. Agust Arnorsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2016. "On the Causes of Brexit," CESifo Working Paper Series 6056, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Wenlang Zhang & Gaofeng Han, 2013. "How have Labour Market Developments Affected Labour Costs in China?," Working Papers 072013, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
    12. Rachel Griffith & Rodrigo Lluberas & Melanie Lührmann, 2016. "Gluttony And Sloth? Calories, Labor Market Activity And The Rise Of Obesity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(6), pages 1253-1286, December.
    13. Agust Arnorsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2016. "On the Causes of Brexit," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 1605, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    14. Lemos, Sara, 2017. "Mind the gap: A detailed picture of the immigrant-native earnings gap in the UK using longitudinal data between 1978 and 2006," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 57-75.
    15. repec:spr:izamig:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40176-017-0096-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Julie Fry, 2014. "Migration and Macroeconomic Performance in New Zealand: Theory and Evidence," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/10, New Zealand Treasury.
    17. Lee, Neil & Morris, Katy & Kemeny, Thomas, 2018. "Immobility and the Brexit vote," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86367, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Bisello, Martina, 2014. "How does immigration affect natives’ task-specialisation? Evidence from the United Kingdom," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-12, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    19. Clark, Ken & Drinkwater, Stephen & Robinson, Catherine, 2014. "Migration, Economic Crisis and Adjustment in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 8410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    20. Martina Bisello, 2013. "Job polarization in Britain from a task-based perspective.Evidence from the UK Skills Surveys," Discussion Papers 2013/160, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    21. Luca Barbone & Andrew Dabalen, 2009. "Enhancing the development impact of migration," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 40(6), pages 59-76.

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    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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