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The Economic Integration of Refugees in the UK (ECONREF)


This project provides quantitative evidence on the labour market, wellbeing and education outcomes of refugees in the UK. This evidence will facilitate integration interventions by civil society and government organisations at the local and national level.  

Until recently it was not possible to separate refugees from other migrants in the UK Labour Force Survey. This changed in 2010 with the introduction of a variable that identifies the main reason for migration. Using this information, this project describes the economic outcomes of the UK’s refugee population and explore whether the initial economic disadvantages faced by refugees in the UK persist over time. It investigates the drivers of refugee economic integration, including the role of related policies in determining the outcomes of refugees. 

Based on the research findings and with close collaboration and input from refugee support organisations and policymakers, the project will explore the implications for policies related to refugee integration.

Principal Investigator

Carlos Vargas-Silva

Other researchers

Isabel Ruiz
Zovanga Kone


Nuffield Foundation


2017 - 2019

Blog: "The Health of Refugees in the UK" ECONREF Research Note: 1,Download

Working paper: "Reason for Immigration and Immigrant's Health" (O. Giuntella, Z. Kone, I. Ruiz, C. Vargas-Silva), SSRN Working paper, 2017. Download

Working paper: "Do Different Doors Lead to Different Paths? Reasons for Immigration and Job Search Methods" (with Z. Kone, I. Ruiz, C. Vargas-Silva), SSRN Working paper, 2017. Download

Related outputs
Blog: The Economic Outcomes of Refugees and Other Migrants in the UK, Download.

Article: "Are Refugees' Labour Market Outcomes Different from Those of Other Migrants? Evidence from the United Kingdom 2005-2007" (I. Ruiz and C. Vargas-Silva), Population Space and Place, 23(6), 2017 Download 

Working paper: "Differences in Labour Market Outcomes between Natives, Refugees and Other Migrants in the UK" (I. Ruiz and C. Vargas-Silva), SSRN Working Paper, 2017. Download

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