Migrants are often blamed for harming the labour market outcomes of the local citizen population. However, it’s unclear whether this is true, or if the opposite is the case.

Migration increases competition with low-skilled locals, potentially worsening their outcomes. Conversely, low-skilled locals may have skills that migrants lack (such as knowledge of language, local conditions, or social norms), which become relatively scarcer – and therefore more valuable – in the presence of migration.

Project aims

This project will explore how these factors play out in the short and long run by utilising new data science techniques. The techniques will be applied to the information contained in surnames about family linkages, ethnicity, and geographical origin.

US census data will be used to provide a historical account of the alternative explanations and recent UK data will be used to understand contemporary changes.

The results will shed light on what impact migration has on labour markets and allow for appropriate policy responses to be developed.

Researchers and collaborators

Contact info

[email protected]