Research > Migration & Global Collaboration

Migration & Global Colloboration

To address the challenges of the future, global collaboration will take centre stage. The biggest challenges can only be addressed when countries work together—challenges including the environment and global health, as well as development, stability and global prosperity. Europe has been at the forefront of multilateralism, resisting attempts by the Trump administration to challenge collaboration in many areas on the world stage. The global standing of the EU and its longer-term strategy are at a critical juncture, with old alliances being called into question, while at the same time new opportunities are arising in Asia, and new challenges in the Global South. Issues that fall in this research area comprise migration, global conflict, strategic partnership and global collaboration.

Global Migration Information Hub

The Global Migration Information Hub (GMIH) is a knowledge hub for information and expertise on issues related to migration that are of public and policy importance, achieved through the production of first-rate research on migration-related topics.


Globalisation, Innovation and Population Health: The health impacts of economic changes to the labour market

This project aims to draw a detailed picture of how important economic trends such as globalisation and technological change have shaped public health over the past decades, in particular through the ways they have affected the labour market. These broad economic forces have changed the way that people work, shifting the occupational health hazards faced by the workforce. This project will explore how these shifts in the economy and the labour market have affected population health and how individuals’ behaviours have changed in response. By combining a variety of data sources on health information, working conditions, and health-related behaviours, and using structural modelling techniques, we will describe how individuals make decisions about their occupation over the course of a lifetime, the ways in which health has been affected by these factors, and how this relates to other determinants of changing population health.

Project Participants:

Christian Dustmann (University College London)
Courtney Brell (University College London)

Globalisation and the Spread of Diseases

This project aims to draw a detailed picture of how important economic trends such as globalisation are affecting population health. The increasingly global economy has led to greater transmissibility of diseases around the world, with direct consequences for public health. The project will explore how increased trade and mobility between countries has allowed for increased transmission of diseases, and will focus on an especially critical health issue: bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The WHO considers this to be the next and most important health issue worldwide. This project will combine data on health, antibiotic resistance and economic indicators at the country level over many years. It will develop a multi-country model to evaluate the economic and health consequences of the spread of antibiotic resistance, and to determine how efficient policies can be implemented.

Knowledge Spillover and Individual Careers

Workers obtain skills not only through formal education and training, but also through learning by doing at the workplace. Such skill acquisition at the workplace may partly operate through learning from coworkers. However, evidence on knowledge spillover among co-workers is still inconclusive, and most existing evidence has focused on high-skilled workers. This project will produce the first study to provide direct micro-level evidence on knowledge spillover from well-trained workers (apprenticeship graduates) onto their lower skilled coworkers. The main part of the project focuses on knowledge spillover onto unskilled labour market entrants without formal qualifications, a group that is vulnerable to job loss and low labour market attachment. In an extension, the analysis will shift to other groups of workers whose skills are low or require updating, most notably immigrant workers (whose skills require adaptation to the host country labour market) or older workers (whose skills may have become obsolete due to technological change). Knowledge spillovers at the workplace have obvious important implications: in the presence of knowledge spillovers, the return to investment into training can be far larger than the sum of returns to trained workers.

Project Participants:

Christian Dustmann (University College London)
Uta Schönberg (University College London)

Globalisation, Welfare and Economic Espionage

Economic espionage is a pervasive phenomenon around the world with potentially dramatic effects on the welfare of affected nations. In the United States and Germany alone, the economic damages caused by this illicit activity are estimated to amount to around 400 billion dollars and 100 billion euros per year respectively. Besides harming the targeted countries, economic espionage may also generate substantial benefits for the perpetrating countries. Yet, despite its economic importance and frequent appearance in current public debates, there exists hardly any quantitative evidence on the effects of economic espionage on the economy and society at large.

This project addresses various related questions on the role of economic espionage. We will investigate how and to what extent economic espionage generates tangible benefits for the perpetrating country, using unique micro-level data that provide a full account of East Germany’s spying activities in the West during the Cold War period. We will also analyse how espionage-based international knowledge flows today affect productivity growth and innovation, relating changes in measurable outcomes such as sectoral TFP to changes in the presence of a country’s own nationals in other foreign economies. Third, we will collect novel data by including a topic module on industrial espionage in a large longitudinal employer survey in Germany, allowing us to conduct a comprehensive firm-level analysis of the prevalence, perception, and impact of industrial espionage in contemporary Germany.

Project Participants:

Adrian Lerche (Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg)
Lukas Mergele (ifo Institute, Munich)
Erqi Ge (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou)