Regionality and Immigration Policy
Robert E. Wright University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Date: Tue, 11 October 2011 , Time: 16:00 - 17:00
Over the past few years, a points-based immigration system has been introduced in the United Kingdom. This system puts factors such as employability, skills and language ability (or more generally “human capital”) at the centre of immigration policy. Although the system is often portrayed as being new or novel it is not - it is a minor variant of the system introduced in Canada in 1967 and copied by Australia in 1973. However, unlike these two systems, “regionality” is not a feature of the UK system since bonus points and/or lower point thresholds are not used to direct immigrants to the parts of the UK where they are most needed (such as Scotland). In Canada, regionality in immigration policy is achieved in two ways. The first is that the province of Quebec has its own points-based system and is largely responsible for selecting immigrants with very little input from the federal government. The remaining provinces (and one of the territories) have “province nominee programmes”, which is effectively the sharing of immigration responsibility between federal and provincial governments. Using micro-data collected in Canadian censuses, and matching methods, this paper attempts to evaluate empirically whether such programmes are effective. The main aim of the analysis is to consider whether “lessons can be learned” from the Canadian experience that can be applied to the UK and other countries where points-based immigration systems are being introduced.
About the presenter
Robert E. Wright, PhD, joined the University of Strathclyde in September 2005 as Professor of Economics in the Strathclyde Business School. From 1995 to 2005, he was Professor and University Chair in Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Stirling and Vice-Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Management. From 1991 to 1994, he was Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Glasgow. Before moving to Scotland, he held positions in the Department of Economics at Birkbeck College, in the Centre for Population Studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at the Institute for Research in Public Policy in Ottawa. His research interests are in the areas of population economics, labour economics, inequality and poverty, financial economics, environmental economics and applied econometrics and statistics. His publications include over 100 articles in refereed journals, 4 books and 22 book chapters. Further details, a CV, and most of his papers and articles are accessible at http://personal.strath.ac.uk/r.e.wright/.