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New Labour? The Impact of Migration from Central and Eastern European Countries on the UK Labour Market

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  • Sara Lemos

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  • Jonathan Portes

Abstract

The UK was one of only three countries that granted free movement of workers to accession nationals following the enlargement of the European Union in May 2004. The resulting large, rapid and concentrated migration inflow can be seen as a natural experiment that arguably corresponds closely to an exogenous supply shock. We evaluate the impact of this migration inflow – one of the largest in British history – on the UK labour market. We use new monthly micro level data and an empirical approach that ascertains which particular labour markets in the UK – with varying degrees of native's mobility and migrants' self-selection – might have been affected. Our results suggest modest effects throughout the labour market. Despite anecdotal evidence, we found little hard evidence that the inflow of accession migrants contributed to a fall in wages or a rise in claimant unemployment in the UK between 2004 and 2006.

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  • Sara Lemos & Jonathan Portes, 2008. "New Labour? The Impact of Migration from Central and Eastern European Countries on the UK Labour Market," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/29, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:08/29
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    1. The academic evidence regarding immigration is overwhelmingly positive
      by Joel Suss in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2014-12-15 14:00:08

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Marco Alfano & Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2016. "Immigration and the UK: Reflections After Brexit," Development Working Papers 402, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 28 Sep 2016.
    3. Peter Huber & Gabriele Tondl, 2012. "Migration and regional convergence in the European Union," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 439-460, November.
    4. Mussche, Ninke & Corluy, Vincent & Marx, Ive, 2016. "The Rise of the Free Movements: How Posting Shapes a Hybrid Single European Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 10365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Agust Arnorsson & Gylfi Zoega, 2016. "On the Causes of Brexit," CESifo Working Paper Series 6056, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Paolo Lucchino & Dr Chiara Rosazza Bondibene & Jonathan Portes, 2012. "Examining the relationship between immigration and unemployment using National Insurance Number registration data," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 386, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    7. Sara Lemos & Jonathan Portes, 2008. "New Labour? The Impact of Migration from Central and Eastern European Countries on the UK Labour Market," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/29, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    8. Brian Bell & Francesco Fasani & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1278-1290, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Valentina Calderón & Ana María Ibáñez, 2005. "Labor Market Effects of Migration-Related Supply Shocks: Evidence from Internally Displaced Populations in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005851, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    11. Yuriy Bilan & Wadim Strielkowski, 2016. "Migration in post-transition economies: immigration surplus in Visegrad group countries," International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(2), pages 182-196.
    12. LSE Enterprise,, 2011. "Study on the impact of the single market on cohesion: implications for cohesion policy, growth and competitiveness," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 42840, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    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. Padma Rao Sahib, 2015. "Status, Peer Influence, and Racio-ethnic Diversity in Times of Institutional Change: An Examination from European Labour Law," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 205-218, January.
    15. Giuseppe Russo, 2011. "Voting over selective immigration policies with immigration aversion," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 325-351, December.
    16. Aslund, Olof & Engdahl, Mattias, 2016. "Open Borders, Transport Links and Local Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 9759, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Girardi, Riccardo & Paruolo, Paolo, 2013. "Wages and prices in Europe before and after the onset of the Monetary Union," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 643-653.
    18. Åslund, Olof & Engdahl, Mattias, 2013. "1 Open borders, transport links and local labor markets," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2013:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    19. Yana Pryymachenko & Klas Fregert & Fredrik N. G. Andersson, 2013. "The effect of emigration on unemployment: Evidence from the Central and Eastern European EU member states," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 2692-2697.
    20. Michela Martinoia, 2011. "European Integration, Labour Market Dynamics and Migration Flows," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(1), pages 97-127, June.
    21. 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.

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    Keywords

    migration; employment; wages; Central and Eastern Europe; UK;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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