ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind” features in Yorkshire Post article and editorial

New ASI briefing paper ” ” features a Yorkshire Post article as well as today’s editorial.

Article:

Increasing levels of racial diversity driven by immigration to British cities have very little negative impact on social cohesion, according to a repot which appears to contradict claims that migration undermines the country’s social fabric. 

The Adam Smith Institute concluded that higher levels of diversity can have a slightly negative impact on trust levels – but when it comes to other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation and volunteer work, there is virtually no evidence to suggest a negative effect.

The Institute reviewed literature on the subject which looked at communities in the United States, Europe and the UK.
It found that if other factors are accounted for – including economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

While research from the States found a clear negative relationship between immigration and social cohesion, research in Europe found no negative impacts.

Research in London had found that once economic deprivation is controlled, higher levels of ethnic diversity actually have a positive effect on social cohesion.

The research appears to contradict claims that immigration must be restricted as it undermines the country’s social fabric. The paper does comment on Bradford or other Northern cities which saw disorder in 2001.

Continued p. 2, Yorkshire Post.

Editorial:

Coincidentally, Sir Keith’s comments come on the day that the Adam Smith Institute claimed that greater ethnic diversity in the UK has not had a negative impact on community cohesion. This refutes Mr Farage’s alarmist assertion that children can no longer play football in the streets of some towns because of concerns about immigration. The think-tank also takes Ukip to task for claiming that migrant workers are taking the jobs of people born in Britain; it says immigrants contribute more to Britain’s debt-laden finances than they take out in benefits.

It is a compelling argument which should be heard before any post-election caps or quotas have a counter-productive effect on the economy. The problem for the country’s political elite is that they find themselves in the unenviable position where Mr Farage’s party is making all the running on this issue.

Read the full comment here.

The paper, “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration”, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature on the relationship between immigration and social cohesion in the Europe, the UK and the United States.

It concludes that higher levels of diversity only lead to a slight negative impact on generalized trust within UK communities; however, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that diversity undermines other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation, trust in authority and volunteer work in the UK. Furthermore, the paper finds that if other factors are controlled for – including neighborhood status and economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

Mythbusting Nigel Farage on immigration – Ben Southwood highlights ASI report in CityAM

Head of Research Ben Southwood writes for CityAM on new ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind: Analysing the relationship between social cohesion, diversity and immigration”:

The political scientist Robert Putnam famously found that Americans “hunker down” in the face of social diversity, doing less in the community and trusting people less – even their own compatriots.

When Nigel Farage suggested that one reason kids tend not to play on the street nowadays was immigration, he was voicing a common concern: that immigrants undermine social trust and social cohesion.

Trust and social cohesion are important on more than just one level – they are a crucial correlate of output, living standards and growth. If immigration did undermine trust, it would be a major argument against it. But it’s not clear that the data can support this objection, whatever people’s anecdotal experience might seem to show.

A new Adam Smith Institute briefing paper out today “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration” looks broadly to see if Putnam’s result is held up by the wider research. There is some (albeit conflicting) evidence that immigration and diversity undermine generalised trust – how much people in society trust other random people in society.

Read the full op-ed here.

The paper, “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration”, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature on the relationship between immigration and social cohesion in the Europe, the UK and the United States.

It concludes that higher levels of diversity only lead to a slight negative impact on generalized trust within UK communities; however, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that diversity undermines other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation, trust in authority and volunteer work in the UK. Furthermore, the paper finds that if other factors are controlled for – including neighborhood status and economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

Author of ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind” writes for Conservative Home

Author of new ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind: Analysing the relationship between social cohesion, diversity and immigration” writes for Conservative Home:

Claims that immigrants are undermining the social fabric of the UK are largely unfounded. A new briefing paper from the Adam Smith Institute released today suggests that restricting net migration is likely to be counter-productive at improving social cohesion.

Opinion polling regularly shows that immigration is one of the most important issues for the electorate. The social impact of immigration is frequently cited as a reason to contain migration flows.

Read the full op-ed here.

The paper, “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration”, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature on the relationship between immigration and social cohesion in the Europe, the UK and the United States.

It concludes that higher levels of diversity only lead to a slight negative impact on generalized trust within UK communities; however, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that diversity undermines other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation, trust in authority and volunteer work in the UK. Furthermore, the paper finds that if other factors are controlled for – including neighborhood status and economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind” features in CityAM

New ASI briefing paper “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigrationfeatures in City AM:

IMMIGRATION is a boon for the economy and higher levels of ethnic diversity can actually improve social cohesion, the Adam Smith Institute will argue today.

In a new report published today, the free-market think tank has sought to tackle head-on the contentious issue of immigration and its effects on Britain’s social fabric. Looking at London-focused research, the institute found that where economic deprivation is controlled for, higher levels of ethnic diversity actually have a positive effect on measures of social cohesion.

Read the full article here.

The paper, “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration”, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature on the relationship between immigration and social cohesion in the Europe, the UK and the United States.

It concludes that higher levels of diversity only lead to a slight negative impact on generalized trust within UK communities; however, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that diversity undermines other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation, trust in authority and volunteer work in the UK. Furthermore, the paper finds that if other factors are controlled for – including neighborhood status and economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

Press Release: Immigration does not significantly hurt social cohesion in Britain, new paper finds

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Head of Communications, at kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

  • There is no conclusive evidence that diversity within UK communities creates a negative impact on social cohesion.
  • The majority of the research shows a small negative association between diversity and generalized trust within a community; but controlling for other factors, including neighborhood status, can eliminate the negative association altogether.
  • Frequently when non-trust measures are used as an indicator for social cohesion no negative relationship between diversity and cohesion is found in the UK; diversity does not appear to affect civic participation, trust in authority, or voluntary work.
  • London-centred research shows that higher levels of ethnic diversity actually have a positive effect on social cohesion.
  • The research undermines claims by some politicians that immigration places burdens on Britain’s social fabric.

Ethnic, cultural and racial diversity, which immigration to the UK typically drives, have very little negative impact on social cohesion, a new briefing paper from the Adam Smith Institute has concluded.

The paper, “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration”, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature on the relationship between immigration and social cohesion in the Europe, the UK and the United States.

It concludes that higher levels of diversity only lead to a slight negative impact on generalized trust within UK communities; however, there is virtually no evidence to suggest that diversity undermines other measures of social cohesion, including civic participation, trust in authority and volunteer work in the UK.

Furthermore, the paper finds that if other factors are controlled for – including neighborhood status and economic deprivation – the negative relationship between diversity and cohesion often disappears.

While research from the U.S finds a clear negative relationship between immigration and social cohesion, research conducted on the national level throughout Europe finds no negative impacts of immigration on social cohesion; but neither sets of findings can be applied uncritically to the UK due to the specific, historical contexts of migration that occurred in each region.

Research that looks exclusively at London is also highlighted in the paper, which finds that once economic deprivation is controlled for, higher levels of ethnic diversity actually have a positive effect on measures of social cohesion. While London’s relationship with immigration is not directly comparable to the rest of the UK, the majority of migrants that come to the UK settle in London, making it an important finding.

The research contradicts the claim by some politicians that immigration, while economically beneficial to the UK, must be restricted because it undermines the country’s social fabric.

Author of the report, James Dobson said:

Immigration continues to be one of the most important and controversial issues in British politics. Whilst the economic debate surrounding migration is well-rehearsed, the social impact of migration has frequently been neglected.

Politicians have often claimed that migration damages community cohesion, but the evidence for this claim is far from clear. Studies in Europe and the UK have frequently failed to find a correlation between high levels of diversity and low levels of social cohesion. Indeed some studies have even observed that highly diverse communities can be more cohesive than more homogeneous areas.

Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood added:

The published economic research is clear that immigrants don’t take away jobs—in fact they raise wages for natives; they help bear the UK’s debt burden by taking out less in benefits than they pay in; and they increase productivity.

But do they undermine the social cohesion and trust that underlies the success of developed countries?

It’s commonplace to say they do, with figures like Nigel Farage suggesting diversity might be one reason for the decline of children playing in the street. But the evidence is inconclusive. Our new paper finds little evidence at all of diversity and migration undermining the bonds that undergird society.

Lawmakers should be aware of the research before they rush to crack down on migration.

Notes to editors:

Read “The Ties that Bind: An analysis of the relationship between social cohesion, diversity, and immigration” here.

The Adam Smith Institute is an free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.