EU468      Half Unit
The Political Economy of Migration in Europe

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Angelo Martelli, CBG.6.04


This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Fudan) and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access). In previous years we have been able to provide places for all students that apply but that may not continue to be the case.


A basic understanding of economics and economic terms is highly recommended. Students who never had any teaching in economics should take the online Moodle Course EU409, and speak to the course convener.

Course content

This course on the Political Economy of Migration and Spatial Inequality is divided into three main sections. In the first part we rely on the main models used to explain the migration decision and explore what are the main economic effects of migration and its welfare state nexus. Subsequently we investigate the role played by public opinion and attitudes in the configuration of migration policies and support for redistribution. In the last part, we take up topical debates in the political economy of spatial inequality. From the rural-urban gap and the patterns of social mobility to the role of informality and insecurity. A G20 Simulation and the final two lectures on the need for a global migration response and climate-induced displacement will conclude the course. The course would deepen students’ understanding of the role played by migration and spatial inequality in different phases of European integration and policy-making.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 29 hours across Autumn Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of the Autumn Term. In addition to standard lectures and seminars, there will be a simulation of G-20 negotiations on migration near the end of Autumn Term, played over 2.5 hours. The simulation will see students working in teams to represent the interests of particular nations and international organisations involved in global migration governance. A review session will be held at the start of the Spring Term to prepare for the exam.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 presentation and 1 short formative essay (1500 words).

Indicative reading

  • Alesina et al (2019) “Immigration and Preferences for Redistribution in Europe”, IZA Discussion paper
  • Borjas G. (2014) “Immigration Economics”, Harvard University Press
  • Dustmann, C. (2003) “Return Migration, Wage Differentials, and the Optimal Migration Duration”, European Economic Review, Vol. 47, pp. 353-367.
  • Dustmann, C., Glitz A. & Frattini T. (2008) "The labour market impact of immigration." Oxford Review of Economic Policy 24.3: 477-494.
  • Dustmann, C., & Frattini, T. (2014). “The fiscal effects of immigration to the UK”. The economic journal, 124(580), F593-F643.
  • Facchini, Giovanni. and Anna M. Mayda (2009), ‘Does the welfare state affect individual attitudes towards immigrants: Evidence across countries’, Review of Economics and Statistics, 91, 291-314.
  • Hirschman. 1978. “Exit, Voice, and the State.” World Politics
  • Kanbur, R. and H. Rappoport (2005), “Migration selectivity and the evolution of spatial inequality”, Journal of Economic Geography.
  • Roy, A. D. (1951) "Some Thoughts on the Distribution of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers (New Series), 3, 135-146.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the period between AT and WT.

The summative assessment will take the form of an e-exam in the Spring Term. E-exams are assessments run under invigilated exam conditions on campus. Students will complete the assessment using software downloaded to their personal laptops.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 19

Average class size 2022/23: 9

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness