The drivers of international migration to the UK: a panel-based Bayesian model averaging approach

Publication date: 1 Dec 2011 | Publication type: Journal article/book/chapter | Theme: Macroeconomics, Trade, Investment & Productivity, Exiting the EU & Britain after Brexit | NIESR Author(s): Mitchell, J; Riley, R | Journal: Economic Journal No. 557 Vol. 121 | Pages: 1398-1444

A heterogeneous panel-based Bayesian model averaging approach is used to identify the robust economic and policy drivers of international migration to the UK from 14 different source regions over 1980–2007. Around three-quarters of the increase in net immigration over the last decade, which is particularly pronounced for selected source regions, is associated with structural change, which may be attributed to UK and foreign immigration policy. The remainder of the rise is largely explained by ‘friends and family’ effects. There are considerable uncertainties associated both with the effects of particular economic drivers of immigration and with forecasts of immigration.