Bryan Caplan  

IGM on High-Skilled Immigration

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The IGM Forum reacts to:
The average US citizen would be better off if a larger number of highly educated foreign workers were legally allowed to immigrate to the US each year.
The result is very lop-sided agreement:
igm.jpg

The award for the strangest answer goes to Caroline Hoxby, who is maximally confident (10/10) that the answer is "uncertain."

Hopefully the IGM will address low-skilled immigration soon, and evaluate the average effects on humanity as well as the average effects on U.S. citizens.

Update: Adam Ozimek critiques the IGM's agnostic dissidents.



COMMENTS (4 to date)
ajb writes:

What's next? Regressive taxes on U.S. citizens evaluated by their benefits for the average world citizen? Let's just charge a head tax in the U.S. to fund a helicopter drop in Africa and Latin America. I'd prefer that to more low skilled immigration. The former at least doesn't shift the marginal voter.

I don't see anything 'strange' about Hoxby's answer, which was;

As a matter of economics,question does not have a simple answer.There are trade-offs.Canada's immigration suggests positive overall effects.

Robert Hall said the same thing.

Ghost of Christmas Past writes:
Hopefully the IGM will address low-skilled immigration soon, and evaluate the average effects on humanity as well as the average effects on U.S. citizens.

Short-run or long-run?

Consider the effects of forcibly redistributing all the wealth in the US proportionately to humanity at large until no American has more than the worldwide mean amount of wealth. Clearly in the short run the average effects on humanity would be positive.*

In the long run, though? I would predict a gigantic diminution of economic growth, because economic growth has not been based on population growth since the Industrial Revolution, but on technological progress.

Mass redistribution of capital from makers to takers, to which mass immigration of low-IQ people to advanced countries is analogous, would reduce economic growth for the whole world.

*Neither the total or average wealth in the world would increase, but the average human's personal wealth would increase, even though some people would suffer a diminution of wealth.

KLO writes:

Caroline Hoxby is also the only African-American or person of African descent to have voted. Perhaps she perceives the supposed benefits of immigration differently for that reason.

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