This study examines the impact of the global economic downturn on the flow of migrants to the UK. The analysis uses the National Institute of Economic and Social Research's global Econometric Model, NiGEM, and builds on the work of Mitchell and Pain on the drivers of international migration into the UK. Mitchell and Pain (2003) estimate that migrant inflows into the UK depend on relative income levels and growth rates, as well as the unemployment rate in the UK while the stock of migrants depends on the speed of reaction to economic events and the net inflow of migrants. Hence, using economicforecasts of the UK and other economies we can produce projections of the number of migrants under different economic scenarios for the UK and migrants' source regions.
In this paper, the baseline projection of migrant inflows and stocks is based on the world economy forecasts produced by NIESR in July 2008, and the alternative projection is based on the January 2009 forecasts. The difference between the July 2008 and January 2009 economic forecasts is a direct result of the worldwide economic downturn. Therefore, the difference between the two migration projections demonstrates the effect of the recession on long-run migration flows to the UK.