Tommaso Frattini, Irene Solmone, 30 March 2022

More than three million Ukrainians have left their country since the start of the war on 24 February. Due to mandatory conscription of men in Ukraine, the majority of these refugees are women and children. This column explores the labour market integration of immigrant women in Europe using data from the past two decades. It shows that immigrant women face a double disadvantage determined by both their gender and immigration status, and their labour market outcomes have not improved over time. These disadvantages should be considered when designing policies to increase labour market participation and success. 

Kristin Butcher, Kelsey Moran, Tara Watson, 22 February 2022

The caregiving workforce in the US will have to dramatically expand to meet the needs of the ageing population. This column argues that less-educated immigration could partially solve the problem. Using data from 1980 to 2017, the authors show that immigration increases the supply of home care for the elderly in the US and reduces its cost, while at the same time improving the quality of care for those who live in institutions.

Rachael Kei Kawasaki, Yuichi Ikeda, 11 February 2022

Attitudes towards immigrants have become a crucial topic in policy and politics. This column uses tools from network science to identify and compare determinants of attitudes toward immigrants from a global perspective. It finds that prejudice is a common determinant of negative attitudes across all regions, especially towards people of another race. Furthermore, individuals in European countries display a more values-based approach towards determining attitudes, compared to non-European contexts. These results imply that successful communication by policymakers on the topic of immigration should account for region-specific cultural and socio-political factors. 

Orsetta Causa, Maria Chiara Cavalleri, Michael Abendschein, Nhung Luu, 11 December 2021

The capacity of workers to move regions in response to local economic shocks is a key dimension of labour market dynamism that could contribute to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and support the green transition. This column presents new empirical evidence on how policies can shape the responsiveness of inter-regional migration to regional economic conditions, with a particular focus on housing markets, social policies, and business regulations. It highlights the need for articulating place-based policies to help prospective movers as well as stayers.

Laurent Bossavie, Daniel Garrote Sanchez, Mattia Makovec, Çağlar Özden, 01 September 2021

The COVID-19 shock exerted pressure on labour markets around the world. This column explores how the prevalence of immigration in the labour market affected different types of workers’ exposure to virus-related risks in 15 destination countries in Western Europe. It finds that not only were immigrant workers more vulnerable to the economic and health shocks of the pandemic; they also served as a protective shield for native workers. By undertaking higher-risk occupations, immigrants enabled native workers to move into work with fewer face-to-face interactions or jobs that could be carried out from the safety of home. 

Torje Hegna, Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 31 August 2021

Though R&D is a key driver of productivity growth, the effects of immigration on R&D investment remain poorly understood. This column investigates the impact that a large immigration shock – in this case, the sudden influx of migrants to Norway following the 2004 enlargement of the EU – had on R&D investments. The results suggest that immigration shocks can have a negative impact on a receiving country’s R&D investments, with potentially long-term consequences for productivity growth.

Jonathan Portes, 25 June 2021

The tide on public sentiment towards immigration in the UK – and economists’ views on Brexit’s economic impact – may be turning. This column discusses the UK’s post-Brexit migration system introduced in January 2021. It argues that the new system, while ending free movement with the EU and hence being far more restrictive for EU citizens moving to the UK for work, is considerably less restrictive.

Mette Foged, Linea Hasager, Giovanni Peri, 20 March 2021

The labour market integration of refugees and immigrants is key to their ability to contribute to the economy of the receiving country and to enhancing the fiscal sustainability of more open immigration policies. Using the quasi-random assignment of Danish refugees to language training, this column shows that language acquisition significantly increased the lifetime earnings of refugees. Refugees with language training became more likely to work in communication-intensive jobs and obtained additional education. The positive effects are transmitted to the next generation in terms of improved schooling outcomes for male children of refugees.

Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp, Cem Özgüzel, 09 December 2020

Workers in essential services have been crucial during COVID-induced lockdowns. This column assesses the contribution of migrants to ‘key worker’ occupations across regions in 31 European countries. Based on individual-level data on occupations from the EU labour force survey and the European Commission’s definition of key workers, it shows that migrants are as likely to support regional economies in key worker occupations as native-born workers are. However, within countries, large differences exist across regions and between cities and rural areas. Overall, migrants play an especially important role in low-skilled key occupations and in cities. At the same time, they also provide a vital source of labour supply in skilled jobs critical for European healthcare systems, such as doctors and nurses.

Mark Colas, Dominik Sachs, 07 October 2020

There is a widespread perception that low-skilled immigration is a fiscal burden for society. This column incorporates indirect fiscal effects of immigration that arise in general equilibrium into various models that have been emphasised in the empirical immigration literature. It finds that the indirect fiscal effect is in fact positive, with one low-skilled immigrant in the US adding between $700 to $2,100 to the public finances through this channel each year.

Leonardo Bursztyn, Ingar Haaland, Aakaash Rao, Chris Roth, 30 July 2020

When outright racism is stigmatised, people may need justifications for publicly expressing anti-minority views. Using two large-scale online experiments, this column argues that people use justifications, such as the claim that immigrants cause crime, to excuse their anti-immigrant behaviour, even if they do not privately believe them. Prominent public figures such as populist politicians can thus generate waves of anti-minority behaviour by serving as suppliers of excuses.

Paola Giuliano, Marco Tabellini, 10 June 2020

Immigration to Europe and the US has met with a heated political backlash in recent decades, but the long-term impact of immigration on political ideology not well understood. This column focuses on the migration of millions of Europeans to the US between 1900 and 1930, and finds that the historical presence of European immigrants encouraged a more liberal political ideology and stronger preferences for redistribution among the native-born population. The difference is due in part to inter-group contact, which allows for the transmission (or ‘melting’) of immigrants’ experiences and ideas.

Paola Sapienza, 06 March 2020

Paola Sapienza argues that immigrants are particularly good proof of certain cultural aspects, because they may live in economic conditions that are very different from their country of origin. 

Alvaro Calderon, Vasiliki Fouka, Marco Tabellini, 01 February 2020

The 1940-1970 Great Migration of African Americans was one of the largest episodes of internal migration in the US. This column examines how resulting changes in the racial composition of local constituencies affected voters’ preferences and politicians’ behaviour. It finds that Democrats and union members supported blacks’ struggle for racial equality, but that backlash against civil rights erupted among Republicans and among whites who more exposed to racial mixing of their neighbourhoods. It also shows that politicians largely responded to demands of their constituencies. The findings suggest that under certain conditions, cross-race coalitions can emerge, but they also indicate that changes in the composition of the electorate can polarise both voters and politicians.

Alberto Bisin, Giulia Tura, 26 November 2019

As migration to Western countries has steadily increased, conversations addressing the issue have stalled somewhere between vaguely well-meaning integration objectives and restrictive closed-borders policies. This column moves the conversation forward by examining specific migrant communities in Italy. Using the language spoken at home as a proxy for cultural-ethnic transmission, it finds that higher rates of marriage between immigrants and the native population encourage a higher acceptance of minority cultures, which in turn allows immigrants to better maintain their distinctive cultural traits.

Santiago Pérez, 15 September 2019

The US and Argentina were the two most common destinations for Italian migrants in the early 20th century. But their experiences as immigrants in each country differed widely. Italians in Argentina became homeowners and were less likely to be employed as unskilled labourers than they were in the US, where they had uncommonly low family incomes and rates of home ownership. This column examines the source of these differences and seeks to understand why so many Italians chose to settle in a country that offered them limited prospects for upward mobility.

Vincenzo Bove, Leandro Elia, Massimiliano Ferraresi, 25 August 2019

Between 2014 and 2017, more than 600,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean and took up residence in Italy. Though crime rates during the same period continued to drop, a majority of Italians report feeling increasingly unsafe. This column investigates how immigration affects the perception of crime and the allocation of resources. Using detailed Italian government-spending figures along with municipal-level data on the population of foreign-born residents, it finds that immigration led to increased spending for police protection due not to higher crime rates but to the deterioration of social capital and unfounded fears of criminality.

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, 31 May 2019

In this Yale Insights animation, Mushfiq Mobarak summarises six observations from economic research about how immigration creates economic benefits.


The aim of the workshop is to bring together young and experienced researchers to present and discuss their work in the broad area of migration economics. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are welcome. The workshop will be organized in a manner designed to foster interaction among the participants in a relaxed atmosphere.

The keynote lecture will be given by:

Jackie Wahba (University of Southampton) 

Francesco Fasani (Queen Mary University London)

Researchers interested in participating should submit a paper (preferred) or an extended abstract in pdf format to [email protected] . The submission deadline is June 15, 2019. Young researchers are particularly encouraged to apply. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by July 15, 2019.

Alberto Alesina, Elie Murard, Hillel Rapoport, 08 April 2019

A large literature shows that generosity, both public and private, is more freely extended within the same group rather than across groups. This column examines how immigration affects natives’ attitudes towards redistribution and the implications for welfare states in Europe. The main finding is that in regions which have received a larger share of immigrants, natives are in general less favourable towards redistribution. Some European countries face the dilemma of natives favouring generous welfare policies for themselves but opposing them for immigrants.



CEPR Policy Research