1 The impact of acquiring unrestricted work authorization on A2 migrants’ labour market outcomes and use of welfare benefits in the UK Working Paper: 9 th February 2017 Martin Ruhs* and Jonathan Wadsworth** Abstract. When Romania and Bulgaria (the so-called “A2 countries”) joined the European Union in 2007, the UK imposed temporary restrictions on the employment and welfare entitlements of A2 citizens that lasted until 1 st January 2014. This paper analyses the impact of the removal of these restrictions on the labour market outcomes and use of welfare benefits of A2 migrants who were already in the UK before 1 st January 2014. Applying difference-indifference analysis to data from the UK’s Labour Force Survey, we find that acquiring unrestricted work authorization had a significant negative impact on A2 migrants’ propensity to work as self-employed. At the same time, we do not find any discernible effects of acquiring full work rights on A2 migrants’ other labour market outcomes (specifically, their labour market participation, hours worked, earnings, propensities of temporary work and manual work) or their use of welfare benefits (unemployment benefits, housing benefits, inwork tax credits, child benefit and income support). The paper discusses potential explanations for these results. *Department for Continuing Education and Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, email@example.com **Economics Department, Royal Holloway, University of London and Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, Cream UCL, IZA Bonn, firstname.lastname@example.org The Labour Force Survey data used in this study were made available through the UK Data Service, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and supplied under Special Licence by the UK Data Service. The data are Crown Copyright and reproduced with the permission of the controller of HMSO and Queen’s Printer for Scotland. The use of the data in this work does not imply the endorsement of ONS or the UK Data Archive in relation to the interpretation or analysis of the data.