Recently, a study carried out by Dr George Panos and Prof Robert E. Wright as part of the ‘British Election Study’, found that individuals who understand interest rates, inflation and risk diversification are more like to have a positive view on immigration in the UK.
Understanding the Role of Migrants in UK Economy & Culture
The study conveyed of panel surveys of up to 30,000 people included numerous questions about immigration in the UK. The 3 questions that capture how British Citizens view the impact of migration on the UK economy and UK culture are the following:
Question 1: “Do you think immigration is bad or good for Britain’s economy?”
Answer:1 = Bad for the economy … 7 = Good for the economy
Question 2: “And do you think that immigration undermines or enriches Britain’s cultural life?”
Answer:1 = Undermines cultural life … 7 = Enriches cultural life
Question 3: “How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? … Immigrants are a burden on the welfare state” Answer:1= Strongly disagree … 5 = Strongly agree
The study found that individuals who are more “financially literate” are more likely to view migrants who come to the UK to study, work and visit in a positive light. Professor Robert Wright who was one of the two authors stated:
“What is really interesting about this immigration stuff is that the more you understand how labour markets work, and how taxes work and are spent, the more positive you are towards immigration. It’s as simple as that.”
Migrants in UK Blamed for Everything
It seems in the last couple of years and recently in the run up to the General Elections, migration has become one of the main concerns of the UK public or at least that’s what the media has led us to believe. If you watch the current political debates or go online there is always a headline that shows immigration in a negative light. Everything from the NHS being in crisis to unemployment seems to be the fault of migrants in the UK.
The study above has shown differently. It may be that individuals who are in business, who attend University or come from migrant families just have a better understanding of the contribution that migrants have on the UK economy and culture. It is rare to hear any politician talk positively about immigration and even more worrying, individuals who don’t have financial knowledge or are influenced by what is currently in the media will likely always view immigration negatively.
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