• Immigrants & the economyCost of Excluding Undocumented Immigrants from Stimulus Funds: $10 billion in Economic Activity

    A new study found that the exclusion of undocumented residents and their families from the COVID-19 pandemic-related $1,200 stimulus payments given to taxpayers resulted in a loss of $10 billion in potential economic output. It also cost 82,000 jobs nationally and 17,000 jobs in California, the research found.

  • ImmigrationIncrease in Immigration Has Little Impact on U.S. Citizens’ Wages

    A new study suggests that a large increase in the stock of immigrants to the United States would have little impact on the wages of native U.S. citizens. Allowing for more high-skill immigration could be detrimental to some highly skilled workers in the country, but disproportionately beneficial to low skilled workers.

  • MigrationBrexit Uncertainty, Migration Decisions Spark Brain-Drain Worries

    A new study found that, over the last four years, the “collective uncertainty” triggered by Brexit has sparked major changes in migration decisions, equivalent to the impact of a serious economic or political crisis. The study reveals the U.K. is facing a potential brain drain of highly educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe. The study compares changes in migration and naturalization patterns of migrating U.K. citizens before and since the Brexit referendum. 

  • Immigration & the economyBoosting Skilled Immigration – and the Economy

    Comprehensive immigration reform has long proved too heavy a lift for the U.S. Congress. But two Cornell Law School scholars say an incremental change with bipartisan support could not only improve a broken system but spark the nation’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Their proposed pilot program would target highly skilled foreign workers, using a points-based selection system modeled after successful programs in Canada and Australia.

  • ArgumentsMisguided Immigration Policies Are Endangering America’s AI Edge

    The efforts to foster America’s development of artificial intelligence, including for military use, typically overlook how the U.S. current advantage depends on immigrants. “Without immigration reforms, this country’s days as the world’s AI leader may be numbered,” Zachary Arnold writes. “Immigration reform of any sort may be a tall order nowadays, but the dawn of the AI age is reason enough to redouble those efforts,” he adds.

  • PerspectiveHow Restricting Skilled Immigration Could Spur Offshoring

    The federal government has long allowed American companies to offer temporary employment to highly skilled foreign workers through its controversial H-1B visa program. Proponents believe the program gives firms a competitive edge in pursuit of innovation, while critics contend it pushes aside American workers in favor of immigrants. The H1-B Reform Act of 2004 capped the number of visas available and prompted other changes. Wharton Assistant Professor of Management Britta Glennon says: “U.S. multinational firms have this alternative choice. If they can’t get the skilled immigrants that they want in the U.S., they can just hire them abroad at one of their foreign affiliates. If it’s true that they are just going to hire skilled immigrants elsewhere, then those policies restricting them can backfire.”

  • Perspective: Exaggerations Does Norway Have a Far-Right Problem?

    A recent article in the Guardian by Sindre Bangstad, a Norwegian social anthropologist describes Norway as being in the grip of pervasive, far-right nationalism, with violence simmering just below the surface. “Norway is in denial about the threat of far-right violence,” reads the bombastic headline. Kathrine Jebsen Moore, a fellow Norwegian, writes that Bangstad misrepresents and misleads: she motes that the Norwegian Police Security Service still regards Islamist terror threats as the most serious threat to Norway, even if it has upgraded the threat of far-right extremism from “unlikely” to “possible” after an attempted mosque attack in August. But “to see in the upgrading of the terrorist threat posed by far-right groups a general mood of irrational hatred for immigrants and Muslims, and portray Norway as a hotbed for racism, is just wrong,” Moore writes, adding: “Norway, like other European countries, is faced with a new set of challenges as it changes from a homogenous nation to a country with a growing immigrant population” – and that “Norway is coping with this influx a lot better than Sweden. So, is Norway in denial about its far-right problem? Don’t believe it.”

  • ImmigrationGermany needs 260,000 immigrants a year to meet labor demand: Study

    Germany needs at least 260,000 new migrant workers per year until 2060 in order to meet growing labor shortages caused by demographic decline. Since migration to Germany from other EU countries is declining, at least 146,000 people each year would need to immigrate from non-EU member states.

  • Immigration & social tensionsRising ethnic diversity in the West may fuel a (temporary) populist right backlash

    By Eric Kaufmann and Matthew Goodwin

    When people’s neighborhoods or wider social contexts change in visible ways, as with increasing ethnic diversity, it can be disconcerting for established residents, and trigger perceptions of “threats” that evoke “backlash” political responses. Alternatively, the diffusion of ethnic groups may increase knowledge and tolerance. Drawing on a meta-analysis of studies on the topic, Eric Kaufmann and Matthew Goodwin argue that ethnic diversity transitions may contribute to a populist right backlash. However, such effects may be temporary.

  • Climate & immigrationClimate changes triggered immigration to America in the nineteenth century

    From Trump to Heinz, some of America’s most famous family names and brands trace their origins back to Germans who emigrated to the country in the nineteenth century. Researchers have now found that climate was a major factor in driving migration from Southwest Germany to North America during the nineteenth century.

  • ImmigrationU.S. shouldn’t give up benefits of ‘green card lottery’ over low risk of terrorism

    By Ethan Lewis

    After a man barreled down a New York City bike path on Oct. 31, killing eight, President Donald Trump reacted by calling for an end to the “green card lottery” program that allowed the attacker to enter the country. As someone who researches the impact of immigration on workers, I believe their plans to change who can enter the country legally is a big mistake. We would be giving up a program that benefits American workers with very little chance of a gain in safety. Immigration that emphasizes diversity, rather than merely merit, tends to attract more people who specialize in occupations uncommon among U.S.-born workers. And, in fact, this is the key source of the well-known economic benefits of immigration. Studies show this tendency toward job specialization is a key reason the large volume of low-skill immigration does not drive down incomes of Americans. Other research shows that simply encouraging immigration from diverse origins lifts wages. Put differently, there is direct evidence that the sort of diversity that the green card lottery encourages makes all Americans better off. It would be a shame to give all of that up because of a tiny risk of terrorism.

  • ImmigrationHow “dreamers” and green card lottery winners strengthen the U.S. economy

    By Ethan Lewis

    Those who wish to restrict immigration often cite what they naïvely call “supply-and-demand economics” to essentially argue that the economy is a fixed pie that gets divided among a country’s residents. Fewer immigrants means “more pie” for the U.S.-born, as the story goes. I am an economist, and this is not what my colleagues and I say. The commonplace argument that increases in the volume of immigration, by themselves, lower wages and take jobs from Americans – an argument which Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to defend ending DACA – has neither empirical nor theoretical support in economics. It is just a myth. Instead, both theory and empirical research show that immigration, including low-skill and low-English immigration, grows the pie and strengthens the American workforce.

  • ImmigrationEconomic benefits of admitting, settling refugees outweigh costs

    Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a new study indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The researchers analyzed the costs and benefits of resettling an average refugee who entered the United States between 1990 and 2014, and found that within eight years of their arrival, adult refugees begin paying more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

  • Immigration & business“Migrant work ethic” exists, at least in the short term

    The received wisdom that migrant workers have a stronger “work ethic” than U.K.-born workers is proven for the first time. New research shows that migrant workers are over three times less likely to be absent from work than native U.K. workers, a measure which economists equate with work ethic.

  • ImmigrationWhy mass deportations are costly and hurt the economy

    By Mark Humphery-Jenner

    President Donald Trump has pledged to deport several million undocumented immigrants and recently set a plan in motion targeting those with criminal records (of any kind). While the ethical issues with mass deportations have received lots of attention, the economics haven’t been explored as comprehensively. And the costs of mass deportations will likely be significant. Deportation-related economicfactors mean that the government must think carefully before aggressively pursuing undocumented immigrants. There are significant costs associated with deportations and the government should consider them carefully when weighing its policy objectives.