Determining the Impact of Migration on Labour Markets—The mediating role of Legal Institutions
Critics of migration often claim that migrant workers displace local workers from jobs and apply downward pressure on wages. In this talk, Dr Manoj Dias-Abey will present some of his ongoing research that explores the relationship between migration and the legal institutions of the labour market. Drawing on a reconstructed version of legal institutionalism, one which attends to the structuring influences of capitalist political economy and racism, Dr Dias-Abey argues that it is impossible to understand the impact of migrant workers on labour markets without considering the functioning of law. His analysis of the historiography of migration to the UK since 1945 shows that labour market institutions, such as the contract of employment and collective bargaining, have played a key role in influencing the inflow of migrant workers as well as the method of their incorporation into the labour market. In turn, the presence of migrant workers has intensified dynamics in the labour market that legal institutions have helped create, such as labour market segmentation. Migrant workers have also impacted the legal institutions themselves, either by being crucial actors in the creation of new legal institutions or by shaping the operation of existing ones. The talk will conclude with some thoughts on how such as an understanding may help us work through some of the contemporary debates on work, regulation, and social democracy.
This event is co-hosted by the Refugee Studies Centre. Dr Catherine Briddick, Departmental Lecturer in Gender and International and Human Rights and Refugee Law will be commenting on the paper.