Professor Robert E Wright gives a talk for the Centre for Migration, Policy and Society.
Most of the countries of Europe are ageing rapidly, with population and labour force decline being expected in the near future. Although politically unpopular, the governments of most of these countries view managed immigration as being the main way to expand their labour forces. However, most of these countries do not have in place immigration systems that 'select the best'. However, this is changing. For example, 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. Using micro-data collected in Canadian censuses, and matching methods, this talk 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.