November 6, 2009
According to Gallup, seven hundred million people would love to permanently move to another country.
The United States ranked first as the top destination where adults wanted to relocate permanently:
Nearly one-quarter (24%) of these respondents, which translates to more than 165 million adults worldwide, name the United States as their desired future residence. With an additional estimated 45 million saying they would like to move to Canada, Northern America is one of the two most desired regions.
The remaining top desired destination companies are predominantly European. Forty-five million adults would like to move to the United Kingdom or France, thirty-five million would like to move to Spain, and twenty-five million would like to move to Germany.
For the rest of the world, thirty million name Saudi Arabia and twenty-five million name Australia as their ideal home.
So what would happen if people could actually move wherever they wanted?
Singapore’s adult population would swell from about 3.6 million people to as high as 13 million. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the other hand, would lose 60 percent of its adult population.
October 20, 2009
George J. Borjas and Rachel M. Friedberg of the National Bureau of Economic Research have a new study on the trends in earnings of new immigrants to the U.S.
This paper studies long-term trends in the labor market performance of immigrants in the United States, using the 1960-2000 PUMS and 1994-2009 CPS. While there was a continuous decline in the earnings of new immigrants 1960-1990, the trend reversed in the 1990s, with newcomers doing as well in 2000, relative to natives, as they had 20 years earlier. This improvement in immigrant performance is not explained by changes in origin-country composition, educational attainment or state of residence. Changes in labor market conditions, including changes in the wage structure which could differentially impact recent arrivals, can account for only a small portion of it. The upturn appears to have been caused in part by a shift in immigration policy toward high-skill workers matched with jobs, an increase in the earnings of immigrants from Mexico, and a decline in the earnings of native high school dropouts. However, most of the increase remains a puzzle. Results from the CPS suggest that, while average entry wages fell again after 2000, correcting for simple changes in the composition of new immigrants, the unexplained rise in entry wages has persisted.
September 22, 2009
Marc Tracy at Biz Box writes an interesting article on visa laws. Here is an excerpt:
But onerous immigration and visa requirements–the type that forces Google (whose co-founder Sergey Brin was born in Russia, by the way), for example, to spend $4.5 million each year on visa administration–are limiting the extent to which the U.S. can take advantage of its magnetism and pull. The consequences of these regulations should be obvious: given how the homelands of many foreign-born tech superstars–China, India, Russia, South Korea, etc.–have developed over the past years and decades, now they are increasingly likely to stay at home and innovate in and for their own countries. And the U.S., which should be laying out the red carpet for them, is giving them one more reason to do just that.
It’s insanity. And it’s also, indelibly, a small-business and entrepreneurship issue (far more than it is merely a tech issue–the immigration restrictions affect life-sciences, communications, the arts and fashion, and indeed any other industry that would stand to benefit from the brilliance of foreign nationals). We’re going to do our part to frame this as such. But we hope that prominent voices in the small-business community, whether they are lobbies or legislators or the head of the Small Business Administration, will speak up for a more open immigration and visa policy where idea-jobs are concerned. The future of small-business and entrepreneurship is at stake.
Click here to read the entire article.
September 2, 2009
The illustration below shows the 20 countries from which the most people came to America in 2008:
(Click to enlarge)
Every one of these immigrants submitted a vote of confidence for the United States. Their ballot was their feet.
August 28, 2009
A letter from Donald Boudreaux to the Wall Street Journal:
Editor, The Wall Street Journal
200 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10281
To the Editor:
Successful politicians Bernie Sanders and Chuck Grassley assert that the productivity of America’s economy is not reduced by restricting businesses’ ability to hire immigrants (Letters, March 17). In contrast, successful entrepreneur Jeremy Chester explains that his business thrived largely because he was able to hire immigrants.
Two different opinions from two different sources. Which source do you reckon is most credible?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Chairman, Department of Economics
George Mason University
August 10, 2009
Here is a great compilation of what Milton Friedman said on immigration.
August 1, 2009
The New York Times reports:
The estimated number of illegal immigrants in a state’s population shows no apparent correlation with the median wage for less educated workers in that state.