David Verry Bio

03 Nov 2020

2019 Winner: David Verry, University of Bristol - “The influence of hostile destination attitudes on migration in Europe: a gravity model analysis”

David Verry

I studied Geography with Quantitative Research Methods for my BSc, graduating in 2019. I enjoyed the statistical aspects of the course from the very start and distinctly remember some advice in an early lecture: when trying to explain and model phenomena in the human world, it can sometimes make sense to build on some observed truth from the natural sciences. I was able to put this advice into practice by writing my dissertation on another favourite topic: migration. Specifically, I looked into gravity models and their use of Newtonian laws as a starting point for explaining the size of migratory flows. My contribution was to prepare my own gravity model for 21st century intra-European migration and attempt to measure the impact of hostility towards migrants on the size of migratory flows into particular countries. While the model was relatively simple, it indicated that fewer migrants choose to settle in countries where attitudes to immigration are more hostile, even accounting for other factors like distance between countries or shared languages.

Since graduating, I have joined the Civil Service, spending my first year working for the Office for National Statistics.