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Journal article

The impact of immigration on the structure of wages: theory and evidence from Britain

Immigration to the UK, particularly among more educated workers, has risen appreciably over the past 30 years and as such has raised labor supply. However studies of the impact of immigration have failed to find any significant effect on the wages of native-born workers in the UK. This is potentially puzzling since there is evidence that changes in the supply of educated natives have had significant effects on their wages. Using a pooled time series of British cross-sectional micro data on male wages and employment from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s, this paper offers one possible resolution to this puzzle, namely that in the UK natives and foreign born workers are imperfect substitutes. We show that immigration has primarily reduced the wages of immigrants - and in particular of university educated immigrants - with little discernible effect on the wages of the native-born.

Marco Manacorda, Alan Manning and Jonathan Wadsworth

1 October 2011

Journal of the European Economic Association 10(1) , pp.120-151, 2011

DOI: 10.1111/j.1542-4774.2011.01049.x

This Journal article is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.