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Poles Apart? EU Enlargement and the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in the UK

  • Drinkwater, Stephen

    ()

    (University of Roehampton)

  • Eade, John

    ()

    (University of Surrey)

  • Garapich, Michal

    ()

    (University of Surrey)

The UK was one of only three countries to allow migrants from accession countries to enter their labour markets more or less without restriction following EU enlargement in May 2004. Therefore, it is important to establish the characteristics and labour market performance of migrants from these countries who have subsequently entered the UK. We principally analyse Labour Force Survey data to compare the labour market outcomes of recent migrants from Poland and other accession countries to those of earlier migrant cohorts from these countries as well as to those of other recent migrants to the UK. We find that the majority of post-enlargement migrants from accession countries have found employment in low paying jobs, despite some (especially Poles) having relatively high levels of education. It follows that recent Polish migrants typically have lower returns to their education than other recent arrivals. Migrants from the new entrants who arrived immediately prior to enlargement possess similar characteristics and labour market outcomes, apart from having a higher propensity to be self-employed. These results are discussed in the context of policy changes, migration strategies, assimilation effects and possible impacts on the sending countries.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2410.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Migration, 2009, 47 (1), 161-190
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2410
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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "EU Enlargement and the Future of the Welfare State," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(1), pages 104-15, February.
  2. Francesco Caselli & Silvana Tenreyro, 2004. "Is Poland the next Spain?," Communities and Banking, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    • Francesco Caselli & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "Is Poland the Next Spain?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 459-533 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Blackaby, D.H. & Leslie, D.G. & Murphy, P.D. & O'Leary, N.C., 2005. "Born in Britain: How are native ethnic minorities faring in the British labour market?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 370-375, September.
  4. Dustmann, Christian & Fabbri, Francesca, 2000. "Language Proficiency and Labour Market Performance of Immigrants in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "EU Enlargement, Migration and the New Constitution," CESifo Working Paper Series 1367, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2005. "Immigrants in the British labour market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 423-470, December.
  7. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  8. Christian Dustmann & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2006. "Ethnic Minority Immigrants and their Children in Britain," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0610, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  9. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  10. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  11. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  12. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 1998. "The earnings of male immigrants in England: evidence from the quarterly LFS," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(9), pages 1157-1168.
  13. Hans-Werner Sinn & Martin Werding, 2001. "Immigration Following EU Eastern Enlargement," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 2(2), pages 40-47, October.
  14. Leslie, Derek & Lindley, Joanne, 2001. "The Impact of Language Ability on Employment and Earnings of Britain's Ethnic Communities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 587-606, November.
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