click here to skip the menu and go to the page content

rebecca's pocket

about / archive / syndicate

.: July 2006 --> Recommended: The Immigration Equation

Recommended: The Immigration Equation

» A Little Weekend Reading: The Immigration Equation probes the immigration debate through the lens of two economists: David Card, a Canadian who believes that "immigration is no big deal and that a lot of the opposition to it is most likely social or cultural" and George Borjas, a Cuban immigrant who believes he has proven that immigrants hurt the economic prospects of the Americans they compete with. It's a thought-provoking and subtle examination of a complex issue.

That stark contrast conveys, to economists, two important facts. One is that Mexicans are supplying a skill level that is much in demand. It doesn't just seem that Americans don't want to be hotel chambermaids, pick lettuce or repair roofs; it's true. Most gringos are too educated for that kind of work. The added diversity, the complementariness of skills, that Mexicans bring is good for the economy as a whole. They perform services that would otherwise be more expensive and in some cases simply unavailable.
The Americans who are unskilled, however, must compete with a disproportionate number of immigrants. One of every four high-school dropouts in the U.S. was born in Mexico, an astonishing ratio given that the proportion of Mexicans in the overall labor force is only 1 in 25. [...]
That's the theory. But economists have had a hard time finding evidence of actual harm.

 [ 07.14.06 ]



» primary link / supplemental information / internal link

my book

» the weblog handbook
amazon editors' best of 2002, digital culture

recent posts