Researching the local employment impacts of immigration: Which way now?

Free webinar based on Urban Studies paper

7 Oct 2020, 10:13 a.m.

Researching the local employment impacts of immigration: Which way now?

Free online seminar, 12 November 2020 



  • Speaker: Prof. Gwilym Pryce, University of Sheffield
  • Discussants: Prof. Adrian Favell and Dr Albert Varela, University of Leeds
  • Chair: Dr Hannah Lewis, Sociological Studies & Migration Research Group, University of Sheffield


Synopsis: The recent research paper, “Estimating the local employment impacts of immigration: A dynamic spatial panel model” [1] by Prof Bernard Fingleton (University of Cambridge), Dr Dan Olner (University of Sheffield) and Prof Gwilym Pryce (University of Sheffield), set out a new approach to the estimation of the labour market impacts of immigration. One of the key advantages of their approach is that allows researchers to quantify the local—e.g. ward-level—employment impacts of immigration. This stands in stark contrast to previous approaches in the UK which have only been able to provide estimates at the national-level. The authors apply the model to London to demonstrate the robustness of the method. However, their new approach has the potential to be applied to all cities and regions in the UK, opening up new avenues of inquiry into how the impacts of immigration on employment vary geographically.

The purpose of this webinar is not to delve into the technical details of the statistical model but to explore the social, economic and political ramifications of this new field of enquiry. For example, suppose immigration generates significant positive impacts on job creation in some areas of the UK, but not in others. What if, in some areas, the job impacts of immigration are in fact negative? What are the social justice implications of this scenario and how might the government redistribute the gains more evenly? And what might be the underlying factors that cause migrants in some regions and cities to generate employment but not in others? How can governments foster the right local socio-economic conditions to help migrants become more economically productive in terms of job creation? Given the many potential research questions catalysed by this new approach, what should the priorities be for future research in this area, and what are the methodological and ethical pitfalls to be avoided?

[1] Fingleton, B., Olner, D., & Pryce, G. (2019). Estimating the local employment impacts of immigration: A dynamic spatial panel model. Urban Studies. Freely available here.


Registration: Attendance at the webinar is free and is open to academics, practitioners and policy makers. To register go to and prior the event you will be sent a link to join the seminar online.


Funding: This webinar and the underlying research is sponsored by the Understanding Inequalities (UI) research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC Grant Reference ES/P009301/1). The project aims to explore the causes and consequences of inequalities. Visit the project website for more information and follow @U_Inequalities on Twitter.



You need to be logged in to make a comment. Please Login or Register

There are no comments on this resource.

Return to Category