Can Immigration Really Offset the Adverse Economic Effects of Ageing Populations? Not According to New Research at the London School of Economics

As Britain prepares to go to the polls for the EU referendum, immigration is a key issue. Those worried by the adverse economic effects of an ageing population sometimes claim that immigration can offset these effects by increasing the proportion of working-age people.  It is a claim challenged by a new study of long-term trends by Michael Murphy published in the journal Population Studies.

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Migration, Ethnicity, and Progression from Low-Paid Work in the United Kingdom

The current flows of people migrating from Syria and other war-torn countries have captured public attention. It has become clear that governments in Europe are ill-prepared to deal with the large scale displacement and movement of people. Much of public debate has centred on ‘spreading the burden’ of accommodating and integrating refugees within national and local communities. Yet migration can – and does – influence the supply of skills and expertise within the labour market.

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Challenges and Opportunities in Researching Recent Migrants

A paper recently published in Demographic Research, ‘Adapting chain referral methods to sample new migrants: possibilities and limitations’ reviewed the experience of attempting to sample two representative populations of new migrants in London. Here the authors discuss what they consider to be the lessons from that experience.

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Are Expatriates Really That Different From Immigrants?

Expatriates – highly-skilled workers who temporarily live abroad because of their jobs – are often seen as extraordinary people, not only very different from those who have always lived in their country of birth, but also much unlike immigrants, who moved to another country to stay there more or less permanently. In contrast to ‘ordinary’ migrants, expatriates are usually depicted as cosmopolitans, who feel at home anywhere, but are rooted nowhere. Some scholars argue that expatriates present themselves as world citizens, but that in reality, they only feel comfortable with transnational business men and women like themselves.

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Addressing Social Inequality in Migration, Urbanisation and Adaptation to Climate Impact in China

Understanding the role of social inequality is crucial if we are to unravel the climate impact, human adaption and migration nexus, but there is limited empirical evidence addressing it, especially in urban settings. In our study recently published in Population and Environment (Tan et al. 2015) as part of the Climate Change and Migration in China project funded by the Australian Research Council, we consider social inequality from three major dimensions: material inequality (the economic), social status inequality (the social) and power inequality (the political). Our consideration was based on the theories of socio-spatial inequality (Sheppard 2002) and social inequality (Goldthorpe 2010). Continue reading

Cultural Assimilation and the Well-being of Immigrants

With its 10.7 million of foreign-born residents (Statistiches Bundesamt, 2011), Germany represents the country with the largest number of international migrants in Europe. The assimilation of immigrants into the national culture is one of the hottest issues that policy makers have to face. On the 16th of October 2010, during a meeting of the younger members of the Christian Democratic Union, the German prime minister Angela Merkel contributed to the controversial debate on multiculturalism in her country by stating that “the approach [building] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other… has failed, utterly failed”.

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Decomposing the Effect of Crime on Population Changes

How crime affects the migration decisions of individuals is important for two main reasons. First, increases in crime may cause individuals to leave a locality, which erodes the tax base required to address further increases in criminal justice and public safety initiatives. Additionally, crime may inflict other externalities, since long-distance moves are costly.

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On Student Mobility From Post-Soviet Countries

Internationally mobile students remain the least studied category of migrants despite the remarkable growth in the numbers of students who choose to study abroad. With 8% of 4 million internationally mobile students originating from post-Soviet countries, very little is known about the macroeconomic factors that may push young people from this region to pursue undergraduate education abroad, or the most popular destination countries for them.

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Why Sanctions are Ineffective: The Case of Undocumented Migrants and Their Employers

Over the last decade while we have both been conducting research into undocumented migration the sanctions regime has grown, extending further into civil society. Employers, landlords, banks and other agencies now all are charged with a legal obligation to police immigration. The law says that they may not offer employment, accommodation or other services to those who are undocumented and a failure to do so poses risks in terms of serious penalties, such as fines and even imprisonment. We have become increasingly concerned about the consequences of this regime, where the focus is on punishment, on naming and shaming and on public demonstrations of state punitive action, particularly in the form of raids on workplaces and on private homes. Continue reading

The Net Contributions Made by Immigrants and Danes to Danish Public Finances

Marie Louise Schultz-Nielsen and Torben Tranæs have published a paper (Working Paper nr. 30, Rockwool Foundation, Research Unit, Copenhagen, 2014) investigating immigration as a solution to the challenges that an aging population represents. The paper is in Danish, but I think their research deserves a wider audience. Their investigation poses the question of whether immigration from different parts of the world can contribute to the financial challenges that an aging population represents. Secondly, the paper investigates how the annual net contribution changes over time, and what the average contribution is from ethnic Danes, Western immigrants and non-Western immigrants [1]. That way, the different sizes of the groups and the changes of net contribution over the life span are taken into account. Finally, it investigates how changes in immigration affect the public finances.
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