The Impact of Immigration on Occupational Wages: Evidence from Britain

36 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2008

See all articles by Stephen Nickell

Stephen Nickell

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; Bank of England - Monetary Policy Committee

Jumana Saleheen

Bank of England

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper asks whether immigration to Britain has had any impact on average wages. There seems to be a broad consensus among academics that the share of immigrants in the workforce has little or no effect on the pay rates of the indigenous population. But the studies in the literature have typically not refined their analysis by breaking it down into different occupational groups. In this paper we find that once the occupational breakdown is incorporated into a regional analysis of immigration in Britain, the immigrant-native ratio has a significant, small, negative impact on average wages. Closer examination reveals that the biggest impact is in the semi/unskilled services sector. This finding accords well with intuition and anecdote, but does not seem to have been recorded previously in the empirical literature.

Keywords: immigration, occupation, wages

JEL Classification: J6

Suggested Citation

Nickell, Stephen and Saleheen, Jumana, The Impact of Immigration on Occupational Wages: Evidence from Britain (October 1, 2008). FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 08-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1310269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1310269

Stephen Nickell

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine ( email )

New Road
Oxford, OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

Bank of England - Monetary Policy Committee ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Jumana Saleheen (Contact Author)

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

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