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Estimating the willingness to move within Great Britain: Importance and implications

  • Stephen Drinkwater

    (University of Surrey and WELMERC, University of Wales Swansea)

The migration of labour is a mechanism through which local and regional labour market differentials can be reduced. It is likely that this mechanism will assume greater importance in the future so long as government assistance to deprived areas continues to decline, firms remain relatively immobile and European integration proceeds. However, Britons are thought to have relatively low migration rates, especially in comparison to their North American counterparts. Therefore in this paper, microdata are examined to establish the characteristics of individuals who are least willing to move and to compare the willingness to move of Britons with those of people from other countries. It is found that individuals from only a few other countries, including the US, are more willing to move within their own borders and that the willingness to move of Britons is higher than those of residents of several EU member states. Personal characteristics are found to be important determinants of the willingness to move, with the lowest educated the least willing and recent migrants the most willing to move. However, only small differences are found across spatial areas within Britain suggesting that there is not a great desire to move from the less prosperous parts of the country. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of the findings.

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File URL: http://www.fahs.surrey.ac.uk/economics/discussion_papers/2003/DP12-03.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 1203.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1203
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