School of Economics

A visit to the Migration Advisory Committee

As part of the Honours option course “Economics of Migration,” two groups of students visited the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in London on 9 April.

The Migration Advisory Committee is an independent body, sponsored by the Home Office, which provides the government with advice on particular migration issues. 

The two groups of students gave presentations to the MAC, which were based particular articles.  Below are summaries of the visit by the two presentation groups:

Group 1

Our presentation was an analysis of a paper entitled “Paying out and crowding out? The Globalisation of Higher Education” by Stephen Machin and Richard Murphy, which concerned the impact of immigration on native students. We provided a broad dissection of the research including an extended literature review around the subject, the background to the topic, the empirical framework, and the results.

The main presentation was followed by a breakdown of certain policy implications by our team, which paved the way for a wider policy discussion with the audience, amongst whom were members of the MAC secretariat, compromised of policy strategists, economists and statisticians, with the School of Economics contingent also engaging in the discussion.

The MAC representatives also explained to us what they do, how they operate, and furthermore described some of the commissioned work they are currently working on. An engaging question and answer session followed. We left London having learned a great deal, and are very grateful to the MAC, Home Office, and School of Economics for making this unique experience possible.

Group 2

Visiting the Migration Advisory Committee at the Home Office allowed us to understand how economic research can be applied to policy.  Our team presented the paper “Immigration and Product Diversity” by Mazzolari and Neumark.  This paper addresses how immigration can impact product diversity in the destination country, and we discussed more generally the positive effects of product diversity on welfare. 

This paper specifically considers immigration into California, where the impact of immigration on diversity depends on the particular sector being considered.  In addition to our presentation, we were able to learn about the work of the MAC and had a broad discussion of immigration in the UK, which was an incredibly valuable experience.