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Macroeconomic Determinants of International Migration to the UK

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  • Forte, Giuseppe
  • Portes, Jonathan

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of long-term international migration to the UK; we explore the extent to which migration is driven by macroeconomic variables (GDP per capita, unemployment rate) as well as law and policy (the existence of “free movement” rights for EEA nationals). We find a very large impact from free movement within the EEA. We also find that macroeconomic variables – UK GDP growth and GDP at origin – are significant drivers of migration flows; evidence for the impact of the unemployment rate in countries of origin, or of the exchange rate, however, is weak. We conclude that, while future migration flows will be driven by a number of factors, macroeconomic and otherwise, Brexit and the end of free movement will result in a large fall in immigration from EEA countries to the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Forte, Giuseppe & Portes, Jonathan, 2017. "Macroeconomic Determinants of International Migration to the UK," GLO Discussion Paper Series 69, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:69
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    Cited by:

    1. Laila Touhami Morghem & Khawlah Ali Abdalla Spetan, 2020. "Determinants of International Migration: An Applied Study on Selected Arab Countries (1995-2017)," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 10(2), pages 6-19.
    2. Benjamin Born & Gernot J. Müller & Moritz Schularick & Petr Sedlacek, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of the Brexit Vote," Discussion Papers 1738, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    3. Carmelo Pierpaolo Parello, 2021. "Free labor mobility and indeterminacy in models of neoclassical growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 27-46, June.
    4. Freeman, Rebecca & Lewis, John, 2021. "Gravity model estimates of the spatial determinants of trade, migration, and trade-and-migration policies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    5. Lewis, John & Swannell, Matt, 2018. "The macroeconomic determinants of migration," Bank of England working papers 729, Bank of England.
    6. Benjamin Born & Gernot J Müller & Moritz Schularick & Petr Sedláček, 2019. "The Costs of Economic Nationalism: Evidence from the Brexit Experiment," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(623), pages 2722-2744.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Brexit; EU; Immigration; UK;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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