Essex PhD student helps shape future UK immigration policy

  • Date

    Tue 2 Oct 18

British and European flags

Immigrant workers tend to be more productive than those born in the UK according to an Essex study, which will help shape the country’s post-Brexit immigration policy.


Economics PhD student Julian Costas-Fernandez was commissioned to write a productivity study as part of a recently-published Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report for the Home Office.

EEA Migration in the UK looks at the effects of immigration on various aspects of UK life, including wages and unemployment, public services, including the NHS, crime and house prices. It concludes European migration has had neither the large negative effects claimed by some, nor the clear benefits claimed by others, but that there are ways in which migration policy could be changed to increase the benefits and reduce costs.

Among the recommendations for post-Brexit the report suggests lifting the cap on high-skilled migrants, limiting the number of low-skilled workers allowed into the UK and not giving preferential treatment to EU citizens.

Julian’s study, the only one written solely by a current PhD student, uses data from the Labour Force Survey, available through the UK Data Archive. Julian, whose studies are funded by one of the prestigious ESRC scholarships, was supervised by Dr Matthias Parey, who said: “Assessing the link between migration and productivity is an important part of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report. I am delighted that Julian was invited to contribute to the MAC’s analysis through this commission.”

Julian added: “Working with the MAC has been an enriching experience. I would like to thanks the ESRC, RCUK and the Department of Economics for the opportunity and Matthias Parey for his advice and support.”