Are UK immigrants selected on education, skills, health and social networks?

Prime Ministers past and present argue the UK wants to recruit migrants who are ‘the brightest and best’. It is usually assumed that more restrictive migration regimes will ensure not only those with higher levels of educational qualifications, but also those who are more motivated, driven and likely to succeed. In one of the first papers to address whether this is actually the case, Renee Luthra and Lucinda Platt find that it is not. Contrary to received wisdom, they show that migrants being relatively high-qualified compared to others in their country of origin does not come with additional economically beneficial skills, characteristics or networks. Moreover, this is particularly the case for those who face a more restrictive migration regime.

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