Macroeconomic Determinants of International Migration to the UK

35 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2017

See all articles by Giuseppe Forte

Giuseppe Forte

University of Oxford

Jonathan Portes

Government of the United Kingdom - Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Date Written: May 2017

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.

Keywords: Brexit, EU, immigration, UK

JEL Classification: F22, J61, J68

Suggested Citation

Forte, Giuseppe and Portes, Jonathan, Macroeconomic Determinants of International Migration to the UK (May 2017). IZA Discussion Paper No. 10802. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2979949

Giuseppe Forte (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Jonathan Portes

Government of the United Kingdom - Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ( email )

London SW1A 2AA
United Kingdom

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