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Public Seminar Series, Hilary term 2019

Series convener: Dr Naohiko Omata

Seminar held on 23 January 2019

About the seminar 


This seminar will present the findings from the Economic Integration of Refugees in the UK (ECONREF) project. The project compares the labour market outcomes of refugees in the UK (e.g. employment rates, hours worked, weekly earnings, hourly salary) to the outcomes of those who migrated for other reasons (i.e. employment, family re-union, study) and the UK-born. Using restricted access labour market data for 2007-1018, the analysis reveals key differences between the labour market outcomes of refugees and other residents of the UK. After the initial comparison, the project explores possible explanations for these differences, putting emphasis on health issues, differences in job search methods and the role of self-employment.

About the speakers

Carlos Vargas-Silva is Research Director and Associate Professor at COMPAS, University of Oxford. He is also the Director of the DPhil in Migration Studies and a member of Kellogg College. Carlos is also co-founder and current Associate Editor of the journal Migration Studies. He was also one of the researchers that developed the Migration Observatory in 2010, and acted as Director of the Observatory in 2014 and 2017. His research focuses on the interaction of migration, including forced migration, with labour markets and public services in migrant sending and receiving countries. He is currently Principal Investigator for the Horizon 2020 REMINDER project about the implications of migration in Europe. In this project, he has explored issues related to the impacts of migrant inflows on the physical burden and injury risk of the local population and access to public services

Isabel Ruiz is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, where she is also Director of Studies in Economics at the Department for Continuing Education. Isabel is a Fellow of Kellogg College and an Associate Member of the Department of Economics, the Oxford Department of International Development and the Latin American Centre at the University. Isabel’s research focuses on the economics of migration with a particular interest on forced migration. She has published widely on this topic and is coordinator of the Economics of Forced Migration Project (ECONFORCED). Recent research projects include exploring the impacts of hosting refugees and refugee repatriation in the Great Lakes region of Africa with emphasis on the cases of Burundi and Tanzania. She has also been recently exploring the labour market outcomes of refugees in the United Kingdom as part of the Labour Market Integration of Refugees in the UK project financed by the Nuffield Foundation. Isabel has worked in projects with UNU-Wider, the Agence Française de Développement, and the World Bank. 

Photo: Over 80% of refugees in Jordan live in urban areas, such as Amman - pictured. © UNHCR/Mohammad Hawari