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

  • Stephen Drinkwater

    (University of Surrey)

  • John Eade

    (CRONEM, University of Surrey)

  • Michal Garapich

    (CRONEM, 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 School of Economics, University of Surrey in its series School of Economics Discussion Papers with number 1706.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sur:surrec:1706
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  1. Francesco Caselli & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "Is Poland the Next Spain?," NBER Working Papers 11045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2003. "Language proficiency and labour market performance of immigrants in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 695-717, 07.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. 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.
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  7. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "EU Enlargement, Migration and the New Constitution," CESifo Working Paper Series 1367, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "EU Enlargement and the Future of the Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 307, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Christian Dustmann & Francesca Fabbri, 2005. "Immigrants in the British labour market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 423-470, December.
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  14. Tito Boeri & Herbert Brücker, 2005. "Why are Europeans so tough on migrants?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 629-703, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2002. "EU enlargement and the future of the welfare state," Munich Reprints in Economics 19736, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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