Written statement to Parliament

Unpublished research reports: immigration

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Today the government is publishing a series of reports presenting the findings from research projects commissioned by the previous administration…

Today the government is publishing a series of reports presenting the findings from research projects commissioned by the previous administration.

There is a significant backlog of unpublished reports that were produced by the previous government which we will be publishing in groups themed on a particular topic.

The reports and findings are of general policy interest, but do not relate to forthcoming policy announcements. We are publishing these documents in the interests of transparency and as part of our Freedom of Information commitment to publish the results of all commissioned research.

The five reportspublished today represent the findings from four research projects on Immigration at a total cost of £165,000.

Summary of reports

Economics Paper 11 Drivers of International Migration

This report considers the factors driving international migration to the UK and the extent to which it is possible to use economic models to predict future immigration to the UK. The paper finds that immigration policy in both the UK and in other destination countries is likely to drive change in net migration. The authors also find a role for the standard economic determinants of immigration, including the economic cycle and relative incomes. Again, the comparison with other host countries is important. In terms of the forecasting of immigration, the authors recommend that immigration should be forecasted probabilistically, rather than as a point estimate, due to the large uncertainties inherent in the forecasting process.

Economics Paper 12 Local Geography of International Migration to the UK

This report considers the key factors explaining the spatial location of immigrants over time, using immigration statistics for Government Office Regions in the UK. The paper finds that in general, most of the variation in the share of immigrants going to each region of the UK can be accounted for by “region fixed effects”. These refer to unobserved factors that cannot be measured easily and that change between regions, but are unlikely to change much over time. Examples of such factors include traditional, cultural, institutional, social, and historical factors. Having controlled for these factors, the paper finds that fewer Asian and A8 immigrants choose to locate in areas where unemployment is higher. In addition, whilst the authors find some evidence that immigrants are attracted to areas with a higher concentration of foreign-born residents, they do not find strong evidence in support of the existence of “network effects”. It is important to bear in mind, however, that the presence of “network effects” may be concealed by the inclusion of the region specific effects in the modelling.

Socio-Economic Integration of Migrants

This report looks at the economic and non economic integration of immigrants and their children in the UK. The economic factors the authors look at are the employment rate, the number of years of education and average earnings. The main non economic factors examined are language proficiency, perceived sense of belonging to Britain and civic participation. The analysis finds that on average immigrants in the UK tend to be more educated than natives, but less likely to be in employment. The report also finds that immigrants in the UK earn less than natives, after adjusting for area of settlement. However, the analysis also finds that the observed gaps in labour market outcomes between immigrants and natives tend to narrow over time and that outcomes vary significantly between different immigrant groups.

Identifying Social and Economic Push and Pull Factors for Migration to the UK by Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals

This report examines the role of various socio-economic and demographic push and pull factors for immigration into the UK by Bulgarian and Romanian nationals. The report uses information on the occupational choices made by A8 migrants and previous waves of A2 migrants, and information on their patterns of settlement across the UK to infer about the likely distribution of future A2 migrants with similar characteristics.

Economic Influences on International Migration for the UK

This report, considers the role of the housing market in determining international migration to and from the UK. Four housing market effects (e.g. relative house prices between countries) are analysed, for different population groups defined by country of birth (e.g. EU-born, US-born etc). The study reviewed previous literature on international and regional migration, which have conventionally only considered economic drivers such as relative unemployment rates, incomes and exchange rates.