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Immigration status uncertainty and mental health - Evidence from Brexit

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nils BraakmannORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The decision of the UK to leave the European Union created uncertainty for European citizens resident in the UK for the period 2016 to 2019. This paper studies the effects of this uncertainty on their mental health. Using data from a large household panel and a difference-in-differences framework, we find no evidence for a decline in mental health or life satisfaction for various definitions of EU citizens relative to multiple control groups. These findings are robust to the specific mental health measure. We corroborate this finding by looking at various channels plausibly linking Brexit and European citizens’ mental health.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Braakmann N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society

Year: 2021

Volume: 60

Issue: 4

Pages: 521-548

Online publication date: 06/07/2021

Acceptance date: 09/06/2021

Date deposited: 09/06/2021

ISSN (print): 0019-8676

ISSN (electronic): 1468-232X

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd


DOI: 10.1111/irel.12287


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