Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 115–130 | Cite as

The link between immigration and trade: Evidence from the United Kingdom

  • Sourafel Girma
  • Zhihao Yu


Immigration and Trade: Evidence from the United Kingdom. — This paper investigates the link between immigration and trade using recent UK data. Immigration from non-Commonwealth countries is shown to have a significant export-enhancing effect. By contrast, immigration from Commonwealth countries is found to have no substantial impact on exports. We conjecture that this could be because immigrants from the UK’s former colonies do not bring with them any new information that can help substantially reduce the transaction cost of trade between their home countries and the host nation. The study also reveals a pro-imports effect of immigration from the non-Commonwealth countries, whereas immigration from the Commonwealth appears to be reducing imports, perhaps reflecting trade-substituting activities by immigrants.



Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anderson, J. E. (1979). A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation.American Economic Review 69 (1): 106–116.Google Scholar
  2. Bergstrand, J. H. (1985). The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence.The Review of Economics and Statistics 67 (3): 474–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Control of Immigration Statistic, Government Publication, UK, various issues.Google Scholar
  4. Deardorff, A. (1995). Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World? In J. Frenkel (ed.),Regionalization of the World Economy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Diaz-Alejandro, C. F. (1970).Essays on the Economic History of the Argentine Republic. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dunlevy, J.(and W. Hutchinson (1999). The Impact of Immigration on American Import Trade in the Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.Journal of Economic History 59 (4): 1043–1062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gould, D. (1994). Immigration Links to the Home Country: Empirical Implications for US Bilateral Trade Flow.The Review of Economic and Statistics 76 (2): 302–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Greif, A. (1993). Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: The Maghribi Traders’ Coalition.American Economic Review 83 (3): 525–548.Google Scholar
  9. Harris, M., and L. Matyas (1998). Modelling International Trade Flows: Specification, Estimation and Hypothesis Testing. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Panel Data. Gothenburg.Google Scholar
  10. Hatton, T. J., and S. Whetley (1999). Migration, Migrants and Policy in the United Kingdom. The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Discussion Paper 81. Bonn.Google Scholar
  11. Head, K., and J. Ries (1998). Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada.Canadian Journal of Economics 31 (1): 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Helliwell, J. (1997). National Borders, Trade and Migration. NBER. Working Paper 6072. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  13. Helpman, E. (1984). Increasing Returns, Imperfect Markets, and Trade Theory. In R. Jones and P. Kenen (ed.),Handbook of International Economics. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  14. Hunter, B. F. (1992.).Ethnologue: Language of the World. Gothenburg, Sweden: Lanstryckeriet.Google Scholar
  15. Population Censuses (1981 and 1991). Central Statistical Office. London, UK.Google Scholar
  16. Rauch, J. E. (1996). Trade and search: Social Capital, Sogo Shosha, and Spillovers. NBER Working Paper 5618. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  17. Rauch, J. E. (1999). Networks versus markets in international trade.Journal of International Economics 48 (1): 7–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rauch, J., and A. Casella (1998). Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Group Ties. NBER Working Paper 6628. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  19. Rauch, J., and V. Trindale (1999). Ethnic Chinese Networks in International Trade. NBER Working Paper 7189. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar
  20. Wei, S.-J. (1996). Intra-National Versus International Trade: How Stubborn Are Nations in Global Integration? NBER Working Paper 5531. Cambridge, Mass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institut fur Weltwirtschaft an der Universitat Kiel 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sourafel Girma
  • Zhihao Yu

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations