Do Migrants Take Away Jobs?

This is episode two of our course Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit). For this series, we’ve teamed up with six researchers from the London School of Economics, each offering a compelling take on one seemingly impossible idea.

What is a seemingly impossible idea, you ask? We’ve challenged each of our lecturers to propose an idea about migration that appears self-evident to them but is missing, misunderstood, or misinterpreted in public conversation.

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Part 2/6 from Six Impossible Ideas (after Brexit)

Many people think that migrants take jobs away from citizens, reduce wages or both. But you may also have heard the argument that immigrants benefit the economy because they take risks and start businesses. So, who’s right?

We took this question to Alan Manning, Professor of Economics at LSE. In three short videos, Alan explains how migration affects your job prospects, presents the data from the UK and the world, and gives insights on managing migration in light of this evidence.

Will a migrant take your job? (Part 1)

Will a migrant take your job? (Part 2)

Alan’s thoughts on migration policy

Recommended Reading

Read the full report on how immigration has affected the UK labour market between 1995-2014 from LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance. We’ve based our “strawberry explainer” on pages 8 and 9 of the report.

Some relevant media links: The National Farmers’ Union warns about shortages of British strawberries after Brexit; why berry pickers in one US state are asking you not to buy them; and here is what a US product aisle looks like to a farmworker.

Alan Manning

Alan is Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Director of the Community Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. His research generally covers labour markets, with a focus on imperfect competition (monopsony), minimum wages, job polarisation, immigration, and gender. On immigration, his interests expand beyond the economy to issues such as social housing, minority groups, and identity. Alan holds a DPhil in Economics from Oxford University. For more on Alan’s work, visit his personal website.

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You should also sign up for our newest course, A Migrant’s View, here. It’s a bit different than our other courses, focussing on both research about so-called “origin countries” (where migrants and refugees come from) and stories of arrival, waiting, and return. By signing up for our newsletter on our site, you’ll be the first to know which courses we’ll be releasing next (trust us, there will be more).

What is Migration Matters?

Migration Matters was founded in January 2016 to address the public’s biggest conundrums and fears surrounding migration and the so-called refugee crisis.

Our free video-based courses break down commonly held preconceptions about migration and offer nuanced and solution-oriented perspectives from leading thinkers in the field: researchers, practitioners, as well as migrants and refugees themselves.

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