Economic Research and Labour Immigration Policy Martin Ruhs


The design of labour immigration policy requires nation states to make fundamental decisions on how to regulate: (i) the number of migrants to be admitted; (ii) the selection of migrants; and, (iii) the rights of migrants after admission. In practice, the debate over these three elements of immigration policy involves a wide range of economic, social, legal, moral, and political considerations. Recognizing the inherent inter-disciplinarity of the subject, this paper focuses on the implications of economic theories and research for regulating the number, selection, and rights of migrant workers in high-income countries. It examines the asymmetric economic interests of migrant-receiving and migrant-sending countries in the debate over the ‘optimal’ design of labour immigration policy and, in light of this analysis, provides a brief economic assessment of the core components of labour immigration policy in the UK.

Ruhs, M. (2008) ‘Economic Research and Labour Immigration Policy’, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 24(3): 404-427