Immigration and Self-Reported Well-Being in England

38 Pages Posted: 26 May 2018 Last revised: 25 Mar 2019

See all articles by Peter Howley

Peter Howley

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Mirko Moro

University of Stirling

Muhammad Waqas

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Liam Delaney

University College Dublin (UCD) - Geary Institute and Department of Economics

Tony Heron

University of York - Department of Politics

Date Written: October 19, 2018

Abstract

Much recent research suggests that immigration has had little, if any, negative impact on the labour market outcomes of natives. In this study we focus on ascertaining the effect of immigration on subjective as opposed to objective indicators of native well-being. Our analytical approach exploits spatial and temporal variation in the net inflows of foreign-born individuals across local areas in England. We find using both a fixed effects and instrumental variable specification that net inflows of foreign-born individuals are associated with modest negative subjective well-being effects for the population as a whole, but that there is a notable degree of heterogeneity in this relationship. Specifically, relatively older individuals (60 ), those with below average household incomes, the unemployed and finally those without any formal educational qualifications experience much more pronounced well-being losses than their younger, financially better-off and employed counterparts. These observed well-being differentials across social groups are similar to voting patterns evident in the recent UK referendum on EU membership. We put forward perceived labour market competition as one of the mechanisms underpinning these results. In support of this premise, we find that the negative relationship between inflows of foreign-born individuals and the subjective well-being of the native-born population in England is much more substantive when macroeconomic conditions are relatively less favourable.

Keywords: Immigration, subjective well-being, England

JEL Classification: J61, I31

Suggested Citation

Howley, Peter and Moro, Mirko and Waqas, Muhammad and Delaney, Liam D. and Heron, Tony, Immigration and Self-Reported Well-Being in England (October 19, 2018). Leeds University Business School Working Paper No. 19-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3184812 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3184812

Peter Howley (Contact Author)

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Mirko Moro

University of Stirling

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Muhammad Waqas

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Liam D. Delaney

University College Dublin (UCD) - Geary Institute and Department of Economics ( email )

Newman Building (Room G215)
Belfield, Dublin 4
Ireland

Tony Heron

University of York - Department of Politics

York YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

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