02 November 2015

Why are people so opposed to immigration? #142538

As the evidence piles up that migrants don’t steal jobs (one of the implications of them being human beings is that migrants also buy stuff - so they create exactly as many new jobs as they “take”), some of the more sophisticated immigration opponents turn to the negative impacts of immigration on other things such as housing or public services instead to support their case.

So what does the research evidence say about the impacts of immigration on public services? Really very little actually. The University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory says that there is “no systematic data or analysis.” In health, we know that many healthcare providers are immigrants, but it’s hard to know the impact of migrants as users of health services as (rightly) nobody records people’s migration status when they go to the doctor.

Using household survey data, Jonathan Wadsworth at Royal Holloway found that (shock!) immigrants tend to use GP services and hospitals at roughly the same rate as natives (via Ferdinando Giugliano in the FT).

Taking another approach, a new paper by Osea Giuntella from the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford, combines household survey data with administrative data on NHS waiting times. Do you need to wait longer for a referral or in A&E in places where there are more immigrants? Come find out at the CGD Europe research seminar on Weds 18 Nov (there will be sandwiches).