Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Are immigrants becoming more selected?

My Programme   Add 
Day:Wed 3 Jul
  • Lucinda Platt, LSE

A key goal of immigration policy is to “select” for immigrants that are expected to contribute most to the receiving country. In pursuit of this goal, highly restrictive migration policies are becoming increasingly common, with stringent requirements for characteristics relevant to labour market performance, such as educational attainment, language ability, and working in designated shortage occupations.  The rationale is that such policies will result in an immigrant population with the highest net fiscal contributions; an often implicit assumption is that such systems will also deliver immigrants who will be easier to “integrate” and will make for more desirable citizens as well. At the moment, there has not been an empirical assessment of either this explicit or implicit rationale for increasingly restrictive migration policy in the UK. Combining information on the economic and socio-cultural characteristics of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and Nigerian immigrants in Understanding Society with secondary data from non-migrants in each of these sending countries, this paper examines changes in selectivity of immigrants in the UK by timing of arrival and national origin. We then go on to examine how selectivity in educational attainment and generalized trust explains immigrant-native differences in employment and political participation.