Bryan Caplan and David Henderson

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing

A Category Archive (354 entries)

Krugman's Cursory Case Against Open Borders

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Paul Krugman exemplifies the standard progressive position on immigration.  He strongly supports amnesty for existing illegal immigrants, but strongly opposes open borders.  His case for amnesty is not novel:[T]oday's immigrants are the same, in aspiration and behavior, as my grandparents... MORE

By Request: Factor Price Equalization

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
From Paul Ralley: Please can you describe a plausible 'end game' for price-factor equalisation. I.e. If incomes in each country converge (per skill level) what would the world look like in terms of trade, income distribution etc. I'm not sure... MORE

Immigration Charity Prospect

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
Argentina officially has near-open borders.  At least on paper, you only need an employer or family member to sponsor you.  The country isn't as quite First World, but with per-capita GDP around $15,000, Argentina would be a huge step up... MORE

Thank Obama for All He's Done

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
While I still harbor doubts about implementation, Obama's recent executive order on immigration exceeds my wildest hopes from two months ago.  Yet to be honest, I'm having trouble feeling thankful.  Not because I'm afraid he's "undermined the rule of law." ... MORE

The Bottom Line on DACA

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
When the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was announced in 2012, I repeatedly heard that two million would benefit.  The bottom line has been far smaller: as of March 2014, 673,000 requests were filed, and just 553,000 approved.  I... MORE

The New Brownsville U-Turn

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I flew into the Corpus Christi airport late last night and waited in line for my rental car. Behind me was a young dark-skinned man who appeared to be from India and he was shouting in a foreign language--Hindi, I... MORE

Imprisoning Immigrants

Economics of Crime
Bryan Caplan
If you read the tables in my last post carefully, you might have noticed that 10.6% of federal inmates - over 20,000 people - are serving time for immigration offenses.  This seems very weird.  Stereotypes say that illegal immigrants are... MORE

The problem of population

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Scott Sumner
Tyler Cowen has a column in the New York Times that discusses the issue of population. I mostly agree with his policy recommendations, but what interests me is the underlying assumptions. What is the optimal global population? What is the... MORE

Emigration and Citizenism

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I still remember watching this interview with Mikhail Gorbachev in my high school journalism class.  When Tom Brokaw asked Gorbachev about Soviet emigration restrictions, the Soviet dictator self-righteously replied:  What they're [the West] organizing is a brain drain.  And of... MORE

The Grand Budapest Hotel's Sublime Apology

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
[mild spoilers]Here's a great scene from Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Gustave, manager of the Grand Budapest Hotel, has just escaped from prison after being framed for murder.  Zero, an immigrant who works as the hotel's lobby boy, helped... MORE

Ebola and Open Borders

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Opponents of immigration almost instantly latched onto Ebola (see here, here and here for starters).  Isn't this horrific disease the "killer argument" showing that open borders is a naively deadly proposal?  The Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian swiftly coined... MORE

Open Borders: My Vox Interview

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
The noble Dylan Matthews interviewed me on open borders for Vox.  Here's his write-up.  Here's the full interview.  We shall overcome.... MORE

Laniakea for the Laniakeans!

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
Via The Skeptical Libertarian, I just watched the video below about "Laniakea: Our home supercluster." As I pointed out in a comment on the TSL Facebook page, what's really important here is that we now know where to build the... MORE

Open Borders Bingo!

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
Note: I took this down earlier in response to a thoughtful and provocative comment on ideological bingo cards because I wanted to think about it a little more. I apologize for making the post disappear without the promise of an... MORE

Immigrants Are Good for Cosmopolitan Tolerance

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
When I debated Mark Krikorian, he bemoaned immigrants' effect on Americans' patriotic solidarity.  I think he's making a mountain out of a molehill, but Mark's concerns were much on my mind during my recent visit to New York City.  I... MORE

Immigrants as Defenders of Freedom

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
One issue that has come up a lot in the discussion of expanding immigration is many people's worry (at times, I have been one of the worriers) about immigrants coming in and voting, more than existing Americans do, for statist... MORE

Keynesians often say that it's "obvious" that more government spending will boost GDP. I love this reply by Nick Rowe: The average reader of the New York Times probably thinks he knows about fiscal policy. "We know that Y=C+I+G+NX, so... MORE

The Brilliance Of The Onion on Immigrant Fruit

International Trade
Art Carden
" Original.... MORE

Scott's Utilitarian Leniency

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Scott's recent posts on utilitarianism sent me digging for his doubts about open borders.  But if you read him literally, Scott never falters.My views on this are kind of hard to explain.  I am convinced by Bryan Caplan's arguments on... MORE

Where Will We Put All These Immigrants?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
Urban renewal in one step: allow homesteaders to take possession of abandoned properties. Settlers obtain legal title to the property after paying property taxes for five years (or whatever is customary in common law). What are the political obstacles to... MORE

Note on Borjas: Non-Binding Constraints Are Not Necessary

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
One of the most articulate critics of expanded immigration into the United States is Harvard economics professor--and immigrant--George J. Borjas. Because I wanted someone who knew the facts about immigration to the United States and could present a balanced view... MORE

George Borjas' new Immigration Economics contains the first intellectually serious critique of the increasingly mainstream view that open borders is a big stack of "trillion dollar bills on the sidewalk."  Borjas begins by clearly explaining what's at stake.[W]hat types of... MORE

New Immigration Journal from the Hoover Institution: Peregrine

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
The Hoover Institution has launched a new journal titled Peregrine: American Immigration in the 21st Century. According to the introductory essay by Timothy Kane: Peregrine is an online journal with a unique mission. Each issue will address one topic out... MORE

Bonding with Immigrants

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
It was a beautiful scene in so many ways. Such diversity, such shared joy in suffering, such determination to push through and triumph over the odds. We were equal in our provisions: we all had one cot, one blanket, one... MORE

Another Immigrant Sneaks Across the Border to Take an American Job

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
ESPN confirms a report that Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas has defected. According to the Communist Party newspaper Granma, as quoted by ESPN.com: From the same source, Granma learned of the departure from the country, through unscrupulous, illegal human trafficking, of... MORE

The Missing Arguments

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Libertarians have a reputation for silly absolutism.  While there's truth in the stereotype, libertarians are at least as likely to make intellectually lazy exceptions to their general principles.  This is especially true when the people losing their liberty are foreigners... MORE

Voter Biases, Explained with Video

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
People all across Alabama are voting today in a primary election. Many of them who claim to want more economic growth will vote enthusiastically for candidates espousing policies that will make us poorer. What gives? Just in time, The Institute... MORE

Can we have confidence in our opinions on immigration?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Scott Sumner
Bryan Caplan has a post that discusses a hypothetical eugenic regime: Imagine a Eugenic America where citizens who earn less than median income are forbidden to have children. Enforcement isn't perfect, so 5% of all kids born are "illegals." Over... MORE

Lind's Challenge for Progressives

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Several of my friends were annoyed that Michael Lind's profile of me failed to mention my open borders advocacy.  They should be happy, then, that this piece makes the libertarian/open borders connection crystal clear.  Lind even says this:If progressives really... MORE

Economism and Immigration

Microeconomics
Bryan Caplan
In our immigration debate, Mark Krikorian heavily downplayed the relevance of economic arguments.  Instead of focusing on immigration's economic benefits, we should dwell on the damage immigration does to our national solidarity, culture, and politics.  His reply to my post-debate... MORE

Myth of the Rational Voter: The Animated Series, Part 4

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
My Learn Liberty video on anti-foreign bias is now up.  It's the last of the series, probably the best, and certainly the most important.... MORE

Talking More to Mark Krikorian

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Last week the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian answered my post-debate questions.  Here is my delayed response.  Mark's in blockquotes, I'm not.  My original questions for Mark are in italics.[Caplan's] argument was that treating foreigners in any way differently... MORE

Thoughts on Krikorian

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In his recent debate on immigration with my co-blogger Bryan Caplan with my friend Alex Nowrasteh, Mark Krikorian makes two interesting points. The first is that the term "open borders" is not an accurate description of what many of us... MORE

The paradoxes of applying nationalism to immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Scott Sumner
Consider two policy options: A. The US admits 1 million immigrants per year between now and 2050. B. The US admits 3 million immigrants per year between now and 2050. Suppose we only cared about the welfare of Americans. Would... MORE

Last night I debated Stephen Balch of Texas Tech's Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.  Here's my opening statement. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Meant for Each Other: Open Borders and Western Civilization The Institute for the Study of Western Civilization... MORE

Talking to Mark Krikorian

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
At last night's debate, I finally got to talk to the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian.  Some thoughts:1. Mark has good manners and radiates little anger.  Immigration opponents would be more influential if they emulated him.  2. Fortunately, such... MORE

Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Last night's immigration debate with Mark Krikorian and Alex Nowrasteh was... interesting.  Reflections forthcoming.  For now, here's my opening statement. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 America Should Open its Borders Under current U.S. law, it is illegal for... MORE

Crazy Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Under open borders, over six billion people would be free to move to the United States.  The population could increase by more than a factor of twenty.  And under real open borders, there's no mandatory waiting period.  If everyone wants... MORE

Tuesday Immigration Debate

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
This Tuesday, Reason is hosting a DC debate on "Should America Open Its Borders?"  Cato's Alex Nowrasteh and I say yes; the Center for Immigration Studies' Mark Krikorian says no.The Center for Immigration Studies' masthead reads, "Low-Immigration, Pro-Immigrant."  I've dissected... MORE

Tourists Welcome

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Almost everyone wants to heavily restrict immigration.  Foreigners will take our jobs, go on welfare, poison our culture, and vote for socialism.  But there's one kind of foreigner almost every country welcomes: tourists.  Sure, locals gripe about their cluelessness and... MORE

Reason's Home Run on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
When I dug into [Reason e-book] Humane and Pro-Growth, I realized that I had fallen behind in the immigration debate. Sure, I had read all of my [Econlog] co-blogger Bryan Caplan's excellent posts on immigration. And I've become quite familiar... MORE

The Ghetto of Talent

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
Charles Murray has recently come under attack for the position he staked out in Human Accomplishment on gender and achievement.  He's ably defended himself by pointing out what he actually wrote.  In the process, though, I remembered my favorite part... MORE

The best part of Collier's Exodus is his analysis of "diaspora dynamics."  In plain English, Irish like to immigrate to countries that already have a lot of Irish, Jews like to immigrate to countries that already have a lot of... MORE

How Diabolical is Unz's Proposal?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Ron Unz wants to raise the minimum wage to discourage illegal immigration.  The mechanism: The minimum wage raises unemployment for low-skilled workers, and illegal immigrants are very low-skilled.  His words:In effect, a much higher minimum wage serves to remove the... MORE

Open Borders Day Roundup

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Many good things about open borders for Open Borders Day via Open Borders.  Imbibe.... MORE

My debate opponent Ron Unz says he's abandoning his California minimum wage initiative for lack of funds.  The Nation's Sasha Abramsky responds with a soft-hitting interview.  The low point:You just mentioned undocumented migrants in the context of your minimum wage... MORE

Would (Our) Open Borders Lead to (Their) Closed Borders?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
My Facebook friend Anna Krupitsky asks a great question:Let's imagine: if United Stated today opened its borders, how many countries and how soon would close theirs for people leaving?There's ample evidence that ending emigration restrictions leads to more immigration restrictions. ... MORE

Pikkety and Inequality: My Reply to Commenters

Income Distribution
David Henderson
In response to my recent post on the New York Times interview with Thomas Piketty, a number of people commented relatively late in the game. For that reason, few regular readers will likely see their comments and so I'm choosing... MORE

Immigration: My Eyes Work Fine

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Critics of my open borders advocacy often accuse me of intellectual blindness, of living in a fantasy world of my own creation.  So rather than rehash any of my arguments or review the academic evidence yet again, I'm going to... MORE

Open Borders Day is Starting

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
March 16 is Open Borders Day, an international holiday to raise awareness of the single most important policy issue of the modern world.  Open Borders Day is a time to reflect on the many immigrants - legal and illegal -... MORE

Francis A. Walker

Labor Market
David Henderson
In his excellent post on Francis Walker's 1896 piece attacking open borders, Bryan didn't mention just who Francis Walker was. I'm sure Bryan knows, but it might help other readers to know. Walker was not just some nativist rube or... MORE

1896: Immigration and The Atlantic

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
In 2013, The Atlantic sympathetically profiled the open borders movement.  Quite a change from this piece the magazine ran in 1896, when nearly open borders still prevailed.  The author, Francis Walker, begins with admirable clarity:When we speak of the restriction... MORE

Being Sendhil Mullainathan

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Harvard's Sendhil Mullainathan has a remarkable life story.  From a profile in Forbes:Born in a small farming village in India, Mullainathan lived there for seven years while his father moved to the U.S. to go to graduate school. On his... MORE

The Singaporean Path to Cosmopolitanism

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
Singapore has one of the most open immigration polices in the world.  But these policies do not currently enjoy popular support.  According to the World Values Survey, Singaporeans seem more anti-immigration than Americans:Only 4% of Singaporeans favour open borders, and... MORE

What the Swiss Vote Really Shows

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
The Swiss just passed a referendum to restrict immigration from the EU.  Tyler thinks this shows that open borders is a hopeless cause.  When immigration gets too high, public opinion naturally turns against immigration. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 In my view... MORE

Diasporas, Swamping, and Open Borders Abolitionism

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Paul Collier's Exodus makes one great obvious-once-you-think-about-it point: diasporas matter.The third big thing we know [about immigration] is that the costs of migration are greatly eased by the presence in the host country of a diaspora from the country of... MORE

In my discussion with Alan B. Krueger on NPR on Wednesday, I pointed out that governments in the United States hamper or prevent entry into many hundreds of occupations. I gave as an example the taxicab monopoly in Monterey and... MORE

Gochenour-Nowrasteh on the Political Externalities of Immigration

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Does immigration expand the welfare state by increasing the share of voters that benefit from government programs?  Or does immigration contract the welfare state by undermining voters' sense of national identity?  Critics of the welfare state tend to think the... MORE

I'm Too Busy Fighting Tyranny to Feed My Family

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Suppose your Facebook friend, John, is a political junkie.  Every day, he floods your Newsfeed with the latest political news and op-eds.  He provides play-by-play coverage of protests and rallies around the globe.  He travels hundreds of miles every week... MORE

Drowning Redheads is Wrong Even Though Water is Wet

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Suppose we lived in a society split between the following intellectual package deals:Package #1: Water is wet, so we should drown redheads.Package #2: Water isn't wet, so we shouldn't drown redheads.What would happen if a lone voice of common sense... MORE

Sitting on an Ocean of Talent

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Imagine scientists discover a new substance that reverses aging.  They name it Leonium, after Ponce de Leon.  The catch: Leonium is vanishingly rare.  Some years later, though, the scientists discover a trillion dollars worth of Leonium directly under the Empire... MORE

Immigrants and their Motivations, Part 2

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
Thanks to David for his very kind words. I've enjoyed my EconLog stint and will resume more regular writing for Forbes.com as well as a new gig with DepositAccounts.com in January. This isn't quite my last post; that will be... MORE

Immigrants and Their Motivations

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
People fear that immigrants will compromise American culture and vote enthusiastically for policies that restrict our freedoms. Laying aside the fact that immigration restrictions are already a massive encroachment upon my freedom--why should I be prevented from hiring anyone I... MORE

How the Welfare State Promotes Nativism

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Two of the best writers in economics, and among the best thinkers, are Alan Blinder and his mentor, Robert Solow. They seem to share a common view of justice. It's a distributive view whereby the government takes from the well-to-do... MORE

In his partial defense of the Pope's views on economic policy, Ryan Avent writes: Neither did economic growth magically free American slaves or end Jim Crow. There was nothing inevitable about the end of institutionalised racism in America, and without... MORE

I'm at the Southern Economic Association meeting this weekend. We'll be sharing food, fun, laughs, and our research. I'm looking for things to trim off my "Projects" list, so I'm going to start blogging ideas for papers I'll never take... MORE

Nowrasteh on E-Verify

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In reality, E-Verify will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of legal Americans to get a job. According to a recent independent audit of E-Verify conducted by the firm Westat, between 0.7 to 0.3 percent of all E-Verify queries... MORE

Unz Debate Analysis

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I suspect many readers are suffering from post-immigration-debate fatigue.  In the interests of fairness, though, here is my opponent Ron Unz's takeaway.... MORE

An Invitation to Bryan Caplan and Vivek Wadhwa: Care to Debate?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
I still haven't watched the Intelligence Squared debate on immigration, but I have followed the fallout here on EconLog. I propose that we settle this...with a debate. I invite Bryan Caplan and Vivek Wadhwa to Samford University for a debate... MORE

Vivek Wadhwa Responds

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
My debate teammate Vivek Wadhwa accepted my offer to post a response to my analysis of the debate.  Vivek:Bryan, feel free to post what you like. I am in favor of legalizing all the workers who are in the US... MORE

Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 It's hard to believe we're even debating "Let anyone take a job anywhere."  If someone said, "The law should prevent women from working," or "The law should prevent Jews from working," or "The law should prevent... MORE

At risk of sounding like a sore loser, I've claimed that many Intelligence Squared participants initially voted metaphorically.  The resolution said "Let Anyone Take a Job Anywhere," but many attendees voted For simply because they are pro-immigration by mainstream American... MORE

The Naik Strategy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
An interesting Facebook post by the noble Vipul Naik, reprinted with his permission.  Vipul:I think Bryan Caplan could have won the Intelligence Squared debate by pandering to his audience in the following ways: (1) Stated that "America is a nation... MORE

Debate Analysis: Unz, Wadhwa, and Me

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Two of my co-debaters, Vivek Wadhwa and Ron Unz, sent out newsletters analyzing the debate.  Opponent Ron Unz:As a useful means of gauging the impact of the arguments, the organizers take before and after votes of the large New York... MORE

Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 "Let anyone take a job anywhere."  Given current policy, it sounds radical.  But notice: The resolution does NOT say "Let anyone become a citizen anywhere," "Let anyone collect government benefits anywhere," or "Let anyone vote anywhere." ... MORE

Debate Results

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
The Intelligence Squared debate results are in. I performed near the peak of my ability, but my very best was not good enough for the live audience. Not by a long shot: Our side actually lost 4 percentage-points, and... MORE

See Me Today at Intelligence Squared

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
Tonight I'm debating for Intelligence Squared in New York City.  The resolution: "Let Anyone Take a Job Anywhere."  Vivek Wadhwa and I are arguing for the affirmative case; Ron Unz and Kathleen Newland are arguing the negative case.  The entire... MORE

On Sweatshops: They're Better Than the Alternative

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
I just answered an email from some seventh-grade students who were asking about my Forbes.com article "Immigrants, Sweatshops, and Standards of Living." I suggested they look up Benjamin Powell's work, particularly this article on sweatshops that he wrote for the... MORE

What I've Been Writing Lately: On Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
Over the summer, I had an exchange on AL.com with Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks about immigration. AL.com declined my rejoinder to Representative Brooks because they generally don't publish back-and-forths, but given that Congress is apparently set to take up immigration... MORE

Open Borders is a Moderate Position

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
After Fabio Rojas, Vipul Naik, and I created the Open Borders Logo Contest Facebook page, many opponents of immigration joined the page and behaved uncivilly.  When our troika decided to moderate the page, immigration opponents cried foul: "If you believe... MORE

Daniel Kuehn on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Appropriately, given that it's Labor Day, one of Econlib's two feature articles is on immigration. In "Why the Conventional View of Immigration is Wrong," author and economics graduate student Daniel Kuehn challenges two conventional views on immigration: (1) That the... MORE

I am pleased to announce that on October 30, I will be debating before Intelligence Squared.  The resolution: "Let Anyone Take a Job Anywhere."  The teams: Vivek Wadhwa and me for the resolution, Ron Unz and TBD against.The event is... MORE

We got together with some neighbors last month and held a yard sale. A good number of our customers were Spanish-speaking immigrants. Co-blogger Bryan Caplan discusses research suggesting that more immigrants make for higher real estate values in the Cato... MORE

Open Borders Logo Contest

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
The Open Borders blog is sponsoring an Open Borders logo contest.  Fab Rojas explains:The Open Borders movement seeks a symbol that embodies the spirit of free migration. To achieve that goal, we are sponsoring a logo contest. The winner of... MORE

Friday Night Video: Grover Norquist on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Grover Norquist has been amazingly effective with his tax pledge that he has gotten almost all Republican Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to sign. It turns out that he has thought a fair amount about immigration too.... MORE

Nowrasteh on Sowell and Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Alex Nowrasteh of the Cato Institute, one of my favorite Cato Institute writers (although the list of my favorites is long) has published two excellent critiques of one of my favorite Hoover Institution writers, Thomas Sowell. In Alex's July 19... MORE

Noah Smith on Wealth and Efficiency

Cost-benefit Analysis
David Henderson
In a recent post on how "normal people" think about economics, Noah Smith writes something that I strongly disagree with: In a certain sense, the normal people's approach makes more sense than that of the economists. We are an incredibly... MORE

Trading With Foreigners: What's In It For Us?

Cost-benefit Analysis
Art Carden
Arguments against international trade and immigration are classic examples of people ignoring Bastiat's lesson and focusing only on what is seen while ignoring what is unseen. What, people ask, is in it for *us* if we trade with foreigners? The... MORE

Quote of the Day: Alan Reynolds

Taxation
David Henderson
In writing on the recent paper by Robert Rector and Jason Richwine ("The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer"), which found that U.S. governments spend more on households headed by illegal immigrants than those immigrants... MORE

Don Boudreaux thoughtfully discusses the putative political externalities of immigration, then ends on a pessimistic note:I have no illusions (I really and truly do not) that anything that I write here, or that I might write in follow-up posts or... MORE

Caplan-Ting Immigration Debate

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
My Students for Liberty immigration debate with Jan Ting of the Center for Immigration Studies is now up.  Here's the teaser, here's the whole thing.  Credit where credit is due: Ting was brave enough to debate before a hostile libertarian... MORE

Better Mixed Economy: Henderson on Litan and Schramm

Growth: Causal Factors
David Henderson
What should be done to increase the growth rate of the sluggish U.S. economy? This is the main issue that economists Robert Litan and Carl Schramm address in their book, Better Capitalism. The book is mistitled. As valuable as many... MORE

The Present and the Future Both Need Bastiat

Growth: Causal Factors
Art Carden
I agree with Bryan: Frederic Bastiat's essay "What is Seen and What is Not Seen" is "the pinnacle of profundity." Indeed, on re-reading Bryan's post on Bastiat from last summer, I realized he wrote most of what I was planning... MORE

Tabarrok on the Ethics of Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I just discovered this great old (2000) piece by Alex Tabarrok on immigration.  Highlights:As far as wages are concerned the only difference between immigration and birth is that birth takes longer. When your neighbor has a child it as equivalent... MORE

Immigration: Anu Bradford's Creative Suggestion

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
One of the biggest issues separating those, like Bryan Caplan and me, who want to allow much more immigration and those who want to limit it to its current level or lower is the issue of the welfare state. Even... MORE

Bastards, Immigrants, and Misanthropes

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
In the Game of Thrones series, people use the term "bastard" literally.  If your parents weren't married when you were born, you're a bastard.  While bastards are common in Westeros, everyone looks down on them for the crime of existing. ... MORE

My latest op-ed was published today by AL.com. In it, I evaluated claims by Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Mo Brooks that "we don't have that many jobs" (Sessions) and that "simple economics" says "You increase the supply of anything,... MORE

Are you a libertarian?  Are you tired of being called "hard-hearted"?  Then I've got a solution for you!  You'll still be insulted.  But instead of being condemned as "hard-hearted," you'll be mocked as "soft-headed."  All you have to do: 1.... MORE

Vipul Naik drew my attention to Brian's comment on my last immigration post:If you are a good libertarian, you will care only about your own freedom and well being. The freedom of others is only of concern to the extent... MORE

"Craziness" and Immigration Policy: A Dialog with Brad Trun

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
A while back on Twitter, I asked:Question for people who think my views on immigration are "crazy": Would the same views remain "crazy" if I were Haitian?Brad Trun, blogger at Libertarian Realist, wrote a direct and forthright reply.  Some will... MORE

Open Borders in The Atlantic

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
The Atlantic profiles Vipul Naik, Michael Clemens, Michael Huemer, and other champions of free migration.  Highlights:What if there was a program that would cost nothing, improve the lives of millions of people from poorer nations, and double world GDP? At... MORE

Talk this Morning: "More Immigrants, Please"

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Art Carden
I'm speaking this morning to the New Horizons Program at UAB--a lifelong education program for senior citizens--on immigration. My outline and bibliography are here. I'll discuss jobs, wages, culture, crime--and the eugenic origins of immigration restrictions. I'm also going to... MORE

Friday Night Video: Shikha Dalmia on Unskilled Immigrants

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
With permission from ReasonTV, this is Shikha Dalmia on five reasons that unskilled immigrants are good for America. If you go to this link, you can find a fairly faithful transcript.... MORE

Immigration and Bubbles

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Vipul Naik called my attention to an interesting comment on immigration and bubbles:Isn't the bubble idea in opposition to the unlimited immigration idea? Your bubble advice boils down to surrounding yourself as much as possible with like minded people. Immigration... MORE

Margaret Thatcher's Legacy

Taxation
David Henderson
I've held off commenting on Margaret Thatcher because I didn't know her legacy as well as many did. In 2011, Bruce Bartlett pointed out that she did not succeed in reducing government spending or government revenue as a percent... MORE

The Rights of the World's Poor

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Over at Cato Unbound, philosopher Nicole Hassoun prompted me to sketch the main argument I plan to make in Part II of Poverty: Who To Blame.  Namely: We should view people in the Third World as victims of First World... MORE

Adam Ozimek has an interesting objection to my claim (here and here) that empirical work on the disemployment effect of the minimum wage contradicts empirical work on the wage effect of low-skilled immigration:Bryan's immigration example is missing an important point.... MORE

Cowen on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Tyler Cowen's latest New York Times column, "A Profession with an Egalitarian Core," is one of the best short pieces he's written in the last year or so. HIs overall point is that economists have been on the forefront in... MORE

The GiveWell-Clemens Brainstorm

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Call it the nobility summit: The noble charity evaluator GiveWell brainstorms with the noble immigration researcher Michael Clemens.  The highlight for me (Clemens speaking):CITA is a non-profit organization in Yuma, AZ founded by Janine Duron, which aims to match Mexican... MORE

Garett Jones on the Supply of Doctors

Labor Market
David Henderson
Which is the binding constraint? My co-blogger Garett Jones posted this week on the supply of doctors, suggesting a new way of thinking about them. He used the idea of opportunity cost: if potential doctors face a high opportunity cost... MORE

"Low-Immigration, Pro-Immigrant."  So reads the masthead of the Center for Immigration Studies.  I'm still trying to make sense of it.  If someone announced a "low-in-law visits, pro-in-law stance," we'd laugh.  If you like your in-laws, you'll welcome frequent visits.  If... MORE

Does Conflict Immigrate?

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
During today's debate #2, I circled back to debate #1: If you really want to help the world's victims of oppression and intolerance, open borders is a cheap, humane alternative to military intervention.  How many Rwandan lives would have been... MORE

Open Borders in 4 Easy Steps

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Today at Students for Liberty 2013 I did a double-header debate against the Center for Immigration Studies' Jan Ting.  The format gave each of us a two minute (!) opening statement for each topic.   Here's my opening statement for Topic... MORE

IGM on High-Skilled Immigration

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
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:The award for the strangest... MORE

David's latest reply on illegal immigration is excellent, and I freely concede his two main points as I understand them.  Namely:1. A narrow segment of illegal workers would lose in the short-run from legalization:I had in mind a specific group... MORE

Employers and Immigrants: Response to Bryan Caplan

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In responding to my criticism of his post, Bryan quoted two sentences but left out the sentences that followed in the same paragraph. That omission matters. Bryan also subtly changed the subject. First, the omission. Bryan writes: David is right... MORE

The Perks of Being Illegal

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
David makes a very strong case for the strange-to-me view that employers actually prefer illegal workers.  He's especially compelling when he notes:[I]f you're an illegal worker earning less than the minimum, then when you become legal, your ability to credibly... MORE

Illegality, Minimum Wages, and Credible Commitment

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Co-blogger Bryan Caplan finds "strange" the claim that "employers prefer to hire illegal immigrants because they don't have to pay them minimum wage or follow other labor market regulations." I don't find it strange at all. First, although I know... MORE

Is Illegality A Benefit?

Labor Market
Bryan Caplan
One of the strangest claims I've heard is that employers prefer to hire illegal immigrants because they don't have to pay them minimum wage or follow other labor market regulations.  I can imagine this happening under special circumstances (e.g. everyone... MORE

Open Borders and Personality Bleg

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
What personality types are most likely to support open borders?  Since almost no one in the First World favors open borders, we shouldn't expect to find common personalities that typically support open borders.  It's conceivable, though, that rare personalities typically... MORE

Nowrasteh on Guest Workers

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
That is why a robust guest-worker program is needed: to accommodate future flows of migrants. After decades of unauthorized immigration motivated by economic gain, it is fantasy to expect it to stop after legalizing those unauthorized immigrants already here. Let... MORE

Welfare as a Magnet for Immigration: Some Evidence

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
The focus in the [1996] welfare reform legislation on scaling back the safety net for immigrants was, in some part, a response to concerns that generous public benefits lead to in‐migration to the U.S. and interstate flows of immigrants responding... MORE

Americans Used To Move A Lot

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Garett Jones
Over the holidays some of my relatives lamented the changes going on in America.  One of the lamentations: the decline of dynamism, the rejection of the frontier spirit.  Is there something to this?  One piece of evidence: We just don't... MORE

My Path to Open Borders

Economic Methods
Bryan Caplan
My open borders autobiography is now a guest post at Open Borders.  Since I strove to truthfully and unstrategically describe my intellectual evolution, even my harshest critics may enjoy it.  Highlights:Until I was seventeen, my views on immigration were completely... MORE

Where Tiebout Goes Wrong

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
The Tiebout model implies that local governments will be redistribution-free and waste-free.  If you find these predictions absurd - and you should - local governments must violate one or more assumptions of the Tiebout model.  What are the key violations?1.... MORE

Pre-Assimilation

Economics and Culture
Bryan Caplan
An especially clever argument by Nathan Smith:[G]lobalization has half-Americanized half the world already. 19th-century immigrants may have been racially more similar to America's white native majority, but they were less familiar with democracy, with the English language, with America via movies... MORE

Absurdities of the Tiebout Model

Public Choice Theory
Bryan Caplan
Economists across the political spectrum embrace the realism of the Tiebout model.  The model's intuition: At the level of local government, there are many consumers (i.e. residents and businesses), many suppliers (i.e. localities), and low switching costs - all the... MORE

Immigration Policy and the World Values Survey

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Over at Open Borders, Nathan Smith shares his preliminary immigration policy empirics from the World Values Survey.  Out of 48 countries surveyed, the people of Vietnam (?!) favor the fewest restrictions on immigration, and the people of Malaysia favor the... MORE

Mark Carney: Like William of Orange, a Political Import

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Garett Jones
You've heard the news already that the Bank of England is importing a high-quality central banker from Canada.  This continues the tradition begun in 1688 (or was it 1066? or AD 43?) of importing the best talent rather than pushing for... MORE

Immigration Charity Bleg

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
Suppose you wanted to spend your charitable dollars to increase the total number of people who migrate from the Third World to the First World.  What approach would give you the biggest bang for your buck?  Are any specific countries,... MORE

Friedman on Immigration History

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Correction below. Did the United States begin in 1875? A little checking turned up the following information: 1. Ellis Island was only established as a federal immigration point--the first such--in 1890. 2. The first federal restrictions on immigration were passed... MORE

Sailer on Fundamental Moral Obligations

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I'm pleased to see Steve Sailer engaging my 3 AM Dorm Room hypotheticals (here and here):"Biased in favor of" is hardly the same as "recognizes no moral obligations to non-citizens" and does not imply Poisoning Children. I also do not,... MORE

Immigration, Trespassing, and Socialism

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
To trespass is to enter a piece of land without the owner's consent.  What should we infer, then, when people argue that illegal immigrants are guilty of trespassing?At first glance, the trespassing shoe doesn't fit.  The typical illegal immigrant:1. Occupies... MORE

A Question for Steve Sailer's B-School Professor

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
An interesting vignette from Steve Sailer:By "citizenism," I mean that I believe Americans should be biased in favor of the welfare of our current fellow citizens over that of the six billion foreigners. Let me describe citizenism using a business... MORE

Cuba to Open Its Border (Outwards)

Cross-country Comparisons
Bryan Caplan
Starting in January, Cubans will no longer need exit visas to leave their workers' paradise.  Just one problem: Are there any First World countries that will let them come?For that matter, what's the best Third World country that will let... MORE

Earlier this month, Vipul Naik asked me to ask you about the persuasiveness of my case for open borders.  Today Vipul posted an extended analysis of your responses.  Very thoughtful, very careful, very fair.  Read the whole thing.... MORE

Imagine you live in a democracy surrounded by a hostile majority.  The median voter wants to deprive you of the rights to (a) accept a job offer from a willing employer, or (b) rent an apartment from a willing landlord. ... MORE

Open Borders Persuasion Bleg

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Immigration restrictions probably have bigger effects on the world's economy than all other regulations combined.  As far as I can tell, virtually every moral theory - utilitarian, libertarian, egalitarian, Rawlsian, Kantian, Christian, and Marxist for starters -  implies that these... MORE

Victor Davis Hanson on "Bankrupt California"

Economics of Crime
David Henderson
"Bostonian," one of the commenters on my previous post on immigration quoted from an article by my Hoover colleague, Victor Davis Hanson. So I read the whole thing. There's a lot of meaty content, good and weak, in his article,... MORE

Henderson vs. Woodruff on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In response to my Freeman article, "Tear Down These Walls," Henry Woodruff wrote [permission granted from The Freeman to reprint his letter and my response]: I very much enjoyed reading David Henderson's article, "Tear Down These Walls," in the June... MORE

Gilens vs. the Political Externalities of Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Martin Gilens isn't known for his work on immigration.  Yet strangely, his two best-known books - Why Americans Hate Welfare and Affluence and Influence - have major implications about the effect of immigration on American politics.  Everyone worried about the... MORE

Vipul Naik and the Priority of Open Borders

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Vipul Naik of Open Borders has started a thought-provoking series of posts on libertarians and immigration:I aim to consider three aspects to this issue in three separate blog posts. In the current blog post, I consider the extent to which... MORE

Cristina Saralegui, The Dems, and The Reps: Multiple Ironies

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
At last night's Democratic convention, Cristina Saralegui, formerly of the Spanish-language station Univision, spoke. Early in her speech, she made the following comment: I was 12 years old when, like so many cubanos, my parents fled the Castro regime. For... MORE

The Latest Batch from the NBER

Cross-country Comparisons
Arnold Kling
1. Robert J. Barro writes, Convergence at a 2% rate implies that it takes 35 years for half of an initial gap to vanish and 115 years for 90% to disappear. Convergence-rate parameters are important to pin down because they... MORE

Ray Fisman on Structural Unemployment

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
He writes, Hurst notes that fewer and fewer Americans with a high school education or less are finding employment in manufacturing. This is a trend that accelerated in the late 1990s. Some of those lost jobs resulted in twentysomethings exiting... MORE

Henderson on Robert Guest

International Trade
David Henderson
His basic argument is that migration of people across borders creates, in the United States particularly, not so much a melting pot as a "rich stew." (This is not a quote from the book; it's actually from Cato Institute senior... MORE

Yesterday I stumbled across a obscure experiment in open borders.  Under the 1954 Geneva Accords, the Vietnamese were explicitly given 300 days to freely migrate between the Communist north and the non-Communist south.  As Wikipedia explains:The agreements allowed a 300-day... MORE

The GSS and the Political Externalities of Immigration: A Guest Post by Sam Wilson

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
GMU Ph.D. student Sam Wilson recently mentioned on Facebook that he was using the General Social Survey to test for political externalities of immigration.  He posted a few crosstabs, but nothing more.  I immediately publicly offered him the chance to... MORE

Priceless Economics

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
A McKinsey Report says, Based on current trends in population, education, and labor demand, the report projects that by 2020 the global economy could face the following hurdles: 38 million to 40 million fewer workers with tertiary education (college or... MORE

Jose Antonio Vargas Is Sadly Ineligible for Semi-Amnesty

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Jose Antonio Vargas, the Rosa Parks of U.S. immigration law, is one year over Obama's cut-off for semi-amnesty.  But Vargas is too noble not to celebrate:Obama's temporary order, however incremental and incomplete, is the most significant development in the fight... MORE

Executive Nullification

Politics and Economics
Arnold Kling
Bryan writes, Obama's semi-amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants sounds like the best U.S. political news of the 21st-century. I am less certain. Even if you want open borders, I am not sure that this is how you... MORE

Is Obama's Semi-Amnesty for Real?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I don't just think that immigration restrictions are bad policy; I think they're a grotesque crime against humanity - with all that implies.  Given this starting point, Obama's semi-amnesty for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants sounds like the best... MORE

Would a World Plebiscite Lead to Open Borders?

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
People occasionally say that "Democracy and open borders are incompatible."  If they're talking about national democracy, they're right.  But suppose we actually lived up to the democratic "one man, one vote ideal" by having a world plebiscite on open borders. ... MORE

Moderate immigration reformers usually argue in favor of more skilled immigrants.  As a matter of economic efficiency, are they correct?  Suppose skilled immigrants earn $30,000 at home and $100,000 here; unskilled immigrants earn $1000 at home and $25,000 here.  Then... MORE

Economic Activity, Outsourcing and Cities

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Alex Tabarrok writes, I was surprised at how close the association is between state level GDP and the urbanization rate GDP measures economic activity. Economic activity is outsourcing. If my daughter does her own laundry, her work does not get... MORE

The Thai Economy

International Trade
David Henderson
Earlier this month, I returned from a 10-day trip to Thailand. Here are some impressions of the Thai economy: "street-level" impressions, not impressions based on looking at aggregate data. Also, I didn't make it to Bangkok, spending the whole time... MORE

Public Radio International, to its credit, after some digging into claims made against Apple by Mike Daisey, not only found that he told a number of lies but also retracted its previous coverage in which PRI had assumed that he... MORE

Under the Jim Crow laws, discrimination was not merely legal.  It was mandatory.  It was illegal for blacks to live, work, and shop in certain places.  Virtually everyone today regards this as an enormous injustice.  So do I.  But I... MORE

Tear Down These Walls

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia's or Egypt's? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the "nature of India" that makes it so?... MORE

Microcredit versus Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
When people try to think of ways to ease global poverty, they seldom mention migration. They tend to instead think of things like microcredit. There is nothing wrong with microcredit (the lending of small sums of money to poor entrepreneurs).... MORE

Griswold on Immigration and the Welfare State

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Dan Griswold's "Immigration and the Welfare State" was my favorite in the Cato Journal immigration symposium.  Highlights:False stereotypes notwithstanding, immigrants have an awesome work ethic:The typical foreign-born adult resident of the United States today is more likely to participate in... MORE

Cato Journal Immigration Symposium Round-Up

Cost-benefit Analysis
Bryan Caplan
I've now read the full Cato Journal immigration issue cover-to-cover.  Leaving aside my lead article, here are my brief reactions:1. Gordon Hanson, "Immigration and Economic Growth."  Pretty good, especially on the interaction between high-skilled native labor and low-skilled immigrant labor:One... MORE

The Case for More Skilled Immigrants

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Nick Schulz makes it. According to recent estimates, the stock of human capital is over $750 trillion.6 According to a research report from JP Morgan called "U.S. Recession and Repression Are Only in Our Minds," this is much greater than... MORE

Social Capital, Property Values, and Salam

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Reihan Salam replies to my case for free immigration, emphasizing the importance of "social capital":It is possible that cash transfers are the most appropriate vehicle for addressing problems that stem from cultural and economic isolation and family breakdown, but my... MORE

Why Should We Restrict Immigration?

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
The Cato Journal's special immigration issue is now out.  I have the lead article, entitled "Why Should We Restrict Immigration?"  My piece sums up everything I've been saying about immigration since I joined the blog: (a) Common-sense morality implies a... MORE

Greenspan: Let Them In

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Alan Greenspan, along with George Shultz and John Cochrane, gave short speeches at a Hoover lunch yesterday and took questions and answers. All the speeches were good: Cochrane's was outstanding. I'll be posting in the next day or two, mainly... MORE

My lecture "Immigration Restrictions: A Solution in Search of a Problem" begins with the following hypothetical:Moved by the plight of Haitian earthquake victims, you go to Haiti to aid in the relief efforts.  After two weeks, you're ready to go... MORE

Immigration Restrictions as Affirmative Action

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
One of my closest conservative friends is chronically angry about (a) immigration and (b) affirmative action.  The irony is that the immigration restrictions he so passionately favors are affirmative action - for native-born workers.Advocates of standard affirmative action see the... MORE

David on 2nd-Best Immigration Policy

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
David made me think a second time about second-best immigration policy.  My thoughts on his:1. I think Bryan drastically understates the ability of even fairly low-skilled workers to come up with a substantial five-figure admission fee. (I'm assuming the fee... MORE

Immigration: Taxes vs. Fees

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Bryan posted a provocative item yesterday in which he made the case for a 10-percentage-point higher income tax rate on immigrants vs. an up-front fee. I have two comments. But before doing so, I emphasize that Bryan and I are... MORE

Paying to Immigrate: Admission Fees vs. Surtaxes

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
As a half-way measure, pro-immigration economists often argue in favor of charging immigrants an admission fee.  It's better than not letting them in at all.  But there are two big problems:1. Admission fees are especially hard on low-skill immigrants.  Even... MORE

Did IQ Research Cause U.S. Immigration Restriction?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
People who believe in the importance of IQ often conclude that they've found a scientific rationale for immigration restrictions.  They're wrong.  But has their mistaken inference led to more restrictive immigration policies?  The Immigration Act of 1924 seems like the... MORE

Unz on Immigration: A Bizarrely Mixed Bag

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Tyler Cowen pointed me to "Immigration, the Republicans, and the End of White America by Ron Unz.  It's one of most bizarrely mixed bags I've ever read.  The piece combines...1. Wise long-run political advice for Republicans:In states or regions experiencing... MORE

Ethnic Diversity and the Size of Government: A Belated Reply to Sanandaji

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
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How Open Is the U.S. Border?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
How open is the U.S. border?  There are many measures, but my favorite is: How many months' wages do immigrants pay smugglers ("coyotes") to get them across the border?Coyotes' current price is about $3000 per person.I can't find good recent... MORE

The Political Externalities of Immigration: Two Graphs to Ponder

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Lately I've been delving more deeply into the empirical evidence on the political externalities of immigration.  Two striking graphs from Alesina, Glaeser, and Sacerdote's "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?" (BPEA 2001):1. Internationally, racially diverse societies... MORE

Cesar Chavez on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Bryan Caplan writes: The children of the foreign-born go far beyond this. Immigrants hurt them the most, but they oppose immigration the least. How is this possible? The best explanation is that the children of the foreign-born, like many other... MORE

Immigration vs. the Self-Interested Voter Hypothesis

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Who loses the most from additional immigration?  The data is clear: The biggest losers are immigrants who are already here.  This is hardly surprising: recent and new arrivals are in close competition because they supply nearly identical skills.  Ottaviano and... MORE

Wages, Welfare, and Elderly Immigration

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Two of the most popular complaints about immigrants:1. They take our jobs.2. They're all on welfare.There's a major tension between the two complaints: Are the immigrants stealing jobs, or loafing?  Contradictions aside, though, you have to wonder: Which complaint do... MORE

The noble Michael Clemens is taking the efficient, egalitarian, libertarian, utilitarian way to double world GDP to the masses.  But one passage made me furrow my brow:All the economic and social arguments against immigrant entry to the workforce could be... MORE

Notes from My Tea Party Talk

Economic Philosophy
David Henderson
Last Thursday I gave a talk to the Tea Party Patriots of Monterey County. I had not had much connection with local tea partiers since the speech I had given at their July 4 event in 2009. My talk was... MORE

Immigration and Crime: Tell Me What You See

Economics of Crime
Bryan Caplan
Compare these GAO statistics on "Federal Prison Illegal Alien Inmates" (p.23) to the Bureau of Justice Statistics table on the "Number of Sentenced Inmates in Federal Prisons" (p.10).  Both sets of figures come from c.2003.  Tell me what you see.... MORE

The Value of the Right of Legal Entry Into the U.S.

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
If you let the U.S. deport you "voluntarily," you retain the right to legally enter again at a later time.  For some people, of course, this is an important right.  For most people facing deportation, though, the right of legal... MORE

A Tale of "Voluntary Departure" from the Comments

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
From long-time EconLog reader Tim Worstall: Having been caught up in the US system once "voluntary departure" is anything but. On entering the country on a 10 year, multi-entry, business visa (I owned a small business in the US at... MORE

The Removal/Return Distinction

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Here's a good practical discussion of what the government's removal/return distinction means on the ground.  Suppose you're on the authorities' radar.  You could fight them in court.  But:[I]f one cannot afford to put up such a fight or if one... MORE

Deportations Statistics

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I've been hearing a lot about Obama's immigration crackdown lately, so I decided to track down some numbers.  The official statistics on deportation run from 1892 to the present.  The key definitions:Removal: "the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible... MORE

The Efficient, Egalitarian, Libertarian, Utilitarian Way to Double World GDP

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Two words: open borders.  The noble Michael Clemens tells the full story in his new piece in the Journal of Economic Perspectives - ungated.  I'm tempted to blockquote the whole piece, but I'll limit myself to a few highlights (footnotes... MORE

Robert Frost and Michele Bachmann on Walls

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Frost: Before I built a wall I'd ask to know What I was walling in or walling out, And to whom I was like to give offence. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down.' From... MORE

The Great Factor-Price Equalization

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Tyler Cowen writes, job creation from start-ups has been falling since the 1980s. He cites a paper by E.J. Reedy and Robert Litan. Once again, I want to point out that low job creation and stagnation are not the same... MORE

A Decade of Mexican Progress

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I love immigrants.  But I don't mind declining immigration when it's driven by catch-up growth.  Here's the NYT on what happened in Mexico over the last decade:Per capita gross domestic product and family income have each jumped more than 45... MORE

Jose the Meritorious

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Has there ever been a better poster child for what I call "Meritocracy Without Borders" than Jose Antonio Vargas?  The guy won a Pulitzer prize without the legal right to hold a job.  Imagine what he could have accomplished free... MORE

Vargas and Understatement

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I am in awe of Jose Antonio Vargas.  He has more courage in his little finger than I have in my whole body.  Which makes his understated byline all the more puzzling:Jose Antonio Vargas is a former reporter for The... MORE

Define Courage: The Jose Antonio Vargas Story

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Incredible piece in today's NYT.  Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas reveals that he's been illegally living in the U.S. for twenty years:After my uncle came to America legally in 1991, Lolo tried to get my mother here through a tourist... MORE

Escape to Mongolia

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
From Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea:Unlike the Chinese, the Mongolians allowed the South Korean embassy in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital, to accept North Korea defectors.  In fact, if North Koreans managed to sneak across the Chinese border... MORE

Population and Chess

Growth: Consequences
Bryan Caplan
Population doesn't just predict Olympic gold medals and movie production; it also predicts the average ranking of countries' top-ten chess players.  In a multiple regression, population and per-capita GDP both matter, just like Julian Simon and New Growth Theory tell... MORE

Immigration and the Welfare State

Political Economy
Bryan Caplan
I still looking for the time to respond to Tino Sanandaji.  In the meanwhile, though, here's Henry Farrell on a new APSR paper on the political economy of the welfare state:[T]hey argue that if one tries to hold racial and... MORE

The Junker Problem

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
The Junkers didn't just make a noble attempt at tyrannicide in 1944; according to Exceptional People, Imperial Germany's landed nobility were also good on immigration:Faced by labor shortages because of Germany's economic boom, Prussian landlords recruited Poles and Ukrainians to... MORE

Fun Facts of Gilded Age Migration

Economic History
Bryan Caplan
More from Exceptional People:On average, 5 percent of the populations of Britain, Ireland, and Norway emigrated every decade between 1850 and 1910, which increased to 14 percent of the Irish population emigrating between 1890 and 1910.  By the turn of... MORE

The Golden Age of Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
The Gilded Age was no libertarian paradise, and it certainly had far lower per-capita GDP than the modern world.  Nevertheless, the Gilded Age was awesome in many important ways.  Above all, as Goldin, Cameron, and Balarajan explain in Exceptional People:... MORE

I think the political externalities of immigration are greatly overblown.  This piece by Chicago Public Policy Ph.D. student Tino Sanandaji presents the other side more effectively than anyone else I've read.  I'm too busy to reply for a while, but... MORE

Posner and Becker on 10 Billion People

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Posner's a nervous optimist:But suppose world population will reach 10.1 billion by the end of this century. Would that be a good or a bad thing? Arguably a good thing, on several grounds. One is that it would enable greater... MORE

Open Borders and The Walking Dead

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I just finished volume 13 of The Walking Dead.  It's my favorite comics discovery since Barefoot Gen.  At first glance, it's mere genre fiction - an unexplained zombie plague destroys civilization in a matter of weeks, leaving a handful of... MORE

Joseph Keckeissen, 1925-2011, RIP

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I just learned that Josepk Keckeissen, an economics professor at Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala, has died. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Mont Pelerin Society meetings in Guatemala in November 2006. He had a spark in... MORE

Exit, Voice, and Borders

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Nicolas Maloberti writes, since they relax the constraints faced by governments, immigration barriers should be seen as a major contributor in creating the conditions for the perpetuation of the sort of political arrangements that classical liberals resist. If individual sovereignty... MORE

Finally, An Intellectually Serious Case Against Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
In langur troops, a core of related females and their offspring associate for up to a few years with unrelated immigrant males.  If the newcomers win, they drive the other males away and systematically kill infants less than six months... MORE

The Biggest Idea in Development that No One Really Tried

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Yesterday the noble Michael Clemens spoke at GMU about his impending JEP piece on migration.  To get a feel for what you missed, check out his Youtube tour de force, "The Biggest Idea in Development that No One Really Tried."... MORE

How More Immigration Can Save California

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I highly recommend Kerr and Kerr's NBER Working Paper, "Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey."  Most of the paper just compiles a lot of evidence with which I was already familiar:1. Immigrants have very little effect on native wages.The documented... MORE

Me and the Students for Liberty: Immigration Webinar 2/9, Conference 2/18-2/20

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
On Wednesday, I'm doing a Students for Liberty webinar.  The topic: "Immigration Restrictions: A Solution in Search of a Problem" - or as SfL calls it, "Why Immigration Restrictions are Wacky."  Anyone can sign up to participate here.  There will... MORE

Immigration: Reply to Ozimek

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Adam Ozimek uses my own words against me to defend liberaltarianism from my critique:I disagree with Bryan's presumption that domestic distribution actually encourages that much of a restriction on immigration, or at least that the immigration restrictions we have would go... MORE

Reply to David on Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
Last month I digested my position on the political externalities of immigration, but I'm happy to elaborate.  David writes:I could imagine that leading to an additional 300 million people coming into the United States within a couple of years. My... MORE

Questions on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
While I agree with co-blogger Bryan that it would be desirable to let way more people into the United States, I haven't seen him answer in a satisfactory way some of the arguments against completely open borders. Assume that the... MORE

Open Borders Haiku

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Markets champ at bit To end global poverty But statists say no.... MORE

A True Conversation on the Political Externalities of Immigration

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
Will immigrants from dysfunctional countries move to the West, become citizens, then vote to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?  I've addressed this common fear before - see here, here, and here for starters.  But recently, I discussed... MORE

Thoughts on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I don't have much to add to Bryan's thoughts on conservative "overlordship" re immigration. But I do want to reply to some points that his commenters raised. . Commenter Tom Dougherty argues that even though landlords, employers, and grocers are... MORE

The Overlords of Immigration

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
In his Cato Unbound essay "Against Overlordship," my colleague Dan Klein argued that the heart of the modern liberal position is the idea that the citizens of a country collectively own their country:Although they may not be fully conscious of... MORE

The Other Problems with Roy Beck on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
"You should have 2 servants and I should have 8." In my previous post on Roy Beck's dramatic use of gumballs to make a numerate point about immigration, I focused on the fact that, contra Beck, making one million people... MORE

When Numeracy Misleads

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Are you indifferent as to whether Oskar Schindler lived? In every course I teach, I do about a 45-minute segment on numeracy. Numeracy is one of the things I find lacking in people who fall for a lot of politicians'... MORE

The Political Externalities of Open Borders: Digest Version

Behavioral Economics and Rationality
Bryan Caplan
"How can the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter favor open borders?"  I've heard the question dozens of times.  Once you admit that (a) democracy does what voters want, (b) voters irrationally oppose markets and liberty, (c) voters... MORE

Illegal immigrants are one of the few groups that modern Americans openly despise.  Indeed, most people can't even say "illegal immigrants" without sneer italics.  Illegal immigrants are also one of the few groups that effectively can't sue their employers for... MORE

Labor Quality and Multiplicative Growth

Growth: Causal Factors
Bryan Caplan
I'm open to the possibility that variables besides policy, population, and science belong in a multiplicative growth model.  But labor quality - the variable that Clark emphasizes in A Farewell to Alms - just isn't very important.  Sure, you can't... MORE

Of Infants and Immigrants

Family Economics
Bryan Caplan
If an additional infant born in America has positive externalities, asks Adam Ozimek, shouldn't an additional immigrant who moves to America have positive externalities, too?Since the average immigrant age is around 30, that means when they've arrived they are already... MORE

My Immigration Podcast

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
My EconTalk podcast inspired by my recent GMU talk is now up.  As usual, Russ Roberts was an incredibly engaging interviewer.  The main novelty: We're such good friends that we decided to make the interview a little more argumentative than... MORE

Morning Recommendations

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Russ Roberts interviews Bryan Caplan on the case for open borders. The challenge with making that case is that anything other than xenophobia is counterintuitive. Thorfinn suggests that if the U.S. overspends on health care, it also overspends on education.... MORE

Caplan On Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I would say that Bryan Caplan hit a home run with his recent lecture on immigration, but that would be an understatement. Bryan was the Mr. October of economists. He laid out the arguments beautifully and in the right order,... MORE

Immigration Restrictions: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
The video and slides from this week's GMU Econ Society/FFF talk are up.  They're easier to follow if you watch them in tandem.P.S. FFF president Jacob Hornberger's review is enough to make me blush.... MORE

Taking Dean Baker Seriously

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
My book review of Dean Baker's short book, Taking Economics Seriously, is just out in Policy Review. Although I liked a fair amount of the book--see my review--Dean restricted himself with his implication that unless a large number of people... MORE

Lebron and State Taxes

Taxation
David Henderson
I was going to write on the tax advantage to LeBron James in going to income-tax-free Florida until I started to research it and see that, earlier today, Aaron Merchak at the Tax Foundation beat me to it. He did... MORE

Association, Exclusion, Liberty, and the Status Quo

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
One of my conservative friends keeps telling me that, "The right to associate is the right to exclude."  As a libertarian, I agree.  But the subtext of his slogan is that libertarians focus far too much on government regulations that... MORE

Good News from David Friedman

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
David Henderson
Earlier this week, David Friedman announced that he is considering a third edition of one of my favorite books ever: The Machinery of Freedom. I'm not a big fan of the title but I love the contents. One of my... MORE

Case for Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In this month's Feature Article, Suffolk University economist Ben Powell makes an economic case for immigration. He takes on the following myths: (1) that immigrants are a drag on the economy, (2) that immigrants "take our jobs," and (3) that... MORE

Who Wants to Move to Minnesota?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
In the comments, Steve Sailer cites:Moynihan's Law of Proximity to the Canadian Border: on just about any socially positive measure, there is a positive correlation between a state's ranking and it's distance from the Canadian border: e.g., Minnesota is usually... MORE

Arizona Immigration Continued

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
I noticed that none of the commenters on my previous post today commented on the merits of my argument. [Actually, commenter #6, Douglass Holmes, did, but that came in after I started writing this post.] I was disappointed. Instead, most... MORE

Arizona Immigration: Battle of the Collectivists

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Your Papers Please It's not hard for me to take sides on whether police in Arizona should be able to stop people simply on suspicion that they're in the United States illegally. I think this is one more step on... MORE

I'm pleased to see one critic of immigration, Richard Hoste, engaging my Comparative Advantage argument for open borders.  In fact, he admits that my point, then objects:Unfortunately, the low IQ masses vote.  They demand free health care, welfare and schools... MORE

But Voters Might Run With Their Feet

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I'm convinced that in case of fiscal crisis, voters will indeed "sit on their hands."  I'm willing to believe, however, that voters might still run with their feet.  As Tim Kane puts it, "What if they had a fiscal crisis,... MORE

The Case for Brain Drains

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Laura Freschi makes it, citing work by William Easterly and Yaw Nyarko. Even using official figures, which likely far undercount the value of remittances by excluding informal channels, remittances sent back by Africans abroad outweigh the cost of educating them... MORE

From the Vault: Cuban Immigrants, 1994

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In going through some articles this weekend, I found the following, reprinted in full. It's titled, "Cubans Want Freedom, Not Welfare" and was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 30, 1994. The Chicago Tribune published an almost-identical version around... MORE

Bhagwati vs. Blinder

International Trade
David Henderson
My review of Jagdish Bhagwati and Alan S. Blinder, Offshoring of American Jobs, appears in the latest issue of Regulation. I show that although Bhagwati had accused Alan Blinder of dropping his belief in free trade, the accusation was unfounded.... MORE

Clemens on Haiti

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Here at GMU Econ, Michael Clemens is "the one that got away."  We tried to hire him a couple years ago, but couldn't get him to yes.  His latest piece in the Washington Post is yet another reason to wish... MORE

The Henderson Let Em In Club

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Bill Easterly is a member. 82 Percent of Haitians above this poverty line [$10 per day] are here in the United States. (I calculate this with Lant Pritchett here, ungated version here.) Only the top 1.4 percent of people in... MORE

The Henderson Club

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Or we could call it the Let Them In club. Elliott Abrams is a member. Mark Krikorian is not. Krikorian is one of the people who makes it difficult for a libertarian like me to feel comfortable with the conservative... MORE

Let Them In

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
Jacob Hornberger has an interesting post today comparing Obama and FDR. FDR prevented Jews from immigrating from Europe in the late 1930s. Had he let them in, he would have saved lives. Obama's military is broadcasting to Haitians not to... MORE

Dean Baker Nails It on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
David Henderson
In a Washington Post story today, reporter Philip Rucker bemoans the fact that the expansion of demand for medical care that would follow from the passage of Congress's health care bill would butt up against a restricted supply of doctors.... MORE

A Good Line

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
From Jeff Jacoby Those immigrants didn't come here in order to be lawbreakers; they broke a law in order to come here. If you had a store that was the only place people could go to buy bread, and people... MORE

The Economics and Philosophy of the Wall

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I usually dislike movies based on true stories.  But The Tunnel, a tale of five heroes who tunnel under the Berlin Wall to rescue their family and friends, is excellent.  We don't just vicariously enjoy the excitement of digging to... MORE

Audience Questions, 2

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Why is a FICA cut better than a federally-funded sales tax holiday? The latter: - affects everyone, not just workers - is progressive - encourages consumption without delaying deleveraging The big advantage of a sales tax holiday is that,... MORE

High School: Don't Bother to Graduate [UPDATE--my error]

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
David Card writes, I show that evidence from cross-city comparisons is remarkably consistent with recent findings from aggregate time series data. Both designs provide support for three key conclusions: (1) workers with below high school education are perfect substitutes for... MORE

The Emerging Stagnant Majority

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
William Voegeli, in an article for the Claremont Review called "The Wilderness Years Begin," cites an article by Ronald Brownstein. Start by considering the electorate's six broadest demographic groups -- white voters with at least a four-year college degree; white... MORE

Luck, Wealth, and Immigration

Cross-country Comparisons
David Henderson
In his column in yesterday's New York Times, Cornell University economist Robert Frank writes: Another important message of recent research is that a person's salary depends far more on where she is born than on her talent and effort. For... MORE

Lee Kuan Yew's Immigration Contradiction

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Singapore is relatively open to immigration.  But Lee Kuan Yew has no apparent sympathy for the Vietnamese boat people:In the weeks before Saigon fell, a huge armada of small boats and ships packed with refugees set out across the South... MORE

Summers' Warning?

Fiscal Policy
David Henderson
In a recent NBER working paper, "How Globalization Affects Tax Design," (WP # 14664), James R. Hines, Jr. and Lawrence H. Summers point out that the increasing mobility of capital makes economic activity more sensitive to tax rates, thus increasing... MORE

Dreaming the Simonian Dream

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Thought experiment: What would the world look like if every bit of land had the population density of Singapore?  With roughly 149 million square km of land on the planet, and a density of 6489 people per square km in... MORE

Compensation for Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I've previously argued that if you're worried about the effect of immigration on the wages of low-skilled Americans, reducing immigration is overkill.  It is more efficient and humane to simply impose a surtax on immigrants, and use the revenue to... MORE

Taxation Under Tiebout

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
The economist Charles Tiebout is famous for analogizing local government to perfectly competitive firms.  His model inspired this question on my last public finance midterm: If the Tiebout model were correct, how would you expect local governments to raise revenue? ... MORE

Let Immigration Be My Hammer

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I'm a big fan of immigration, and an old saying warns us that, "If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." So you might be inclined to chuckle if I promoted immigration as a cure for... MORE

Economists, Foreign Competition, and Self-Interest: Rodrik's Doubly Wrong

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Here's how Dani Rodrik closes his defense of popular anxiety about globalization:And by the way, Harvard cannot fire me because I have tenure (as does Tyler). Which makes any pontification on our part about job anxiety a very poor guide... MORE

Immigrants and measured GDP per capita

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Reader Bruce Charlton points me to a post by Half Sigma. Unskilled low-IQ immigrants who come to the U.S. contribute slightly to higher total GDP, but they lower the GDP per capita. Letting in a low-skilled immigrant to mow my... MORE

Richard Florida on Location in Silicon Valley

Income Distribution
Arnold Kling
He speaks on this video. He is a very powerful speaker. One theme of the talk is the importance of really creative people to the economy. This may be a valid form of elitism, although I'd like to leaven his... MORE

A High-Wage Equilibrium

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
A commenter points me to Will Wilkinson's post where he links to The Economist Intelligence Unit's ranking of Denmark as the best country to do business. About the Danish labor market, they write The system combines low non-wage labour costs... MORE

The Quick Fix: For the Love of God, Give Every Haitian a Green Card

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Rising food prices don't mean a lot in the U.S., but in places like Haiti, they're a disaster:Saint Louis Meriska’s children ate two spoonfuls of rice apiece as their only meal recently and then went without any food the following... MORE

We'll Take Tim Harford

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
The Daily Telegraph reports, Britain has now lost more than one in 10 of its most skilled citizens, while overall only Mexico has had more people emigrate. ...Britain's exodus is far higher than any of the OECD's other 29 members.... MORE

"Bloggers As Illegal Immigrants": What Does Borjas' Analogy Really Show?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I just came across a particularly bizarre Borjas post, entitled "Bloggers as Illegal Immigrants":It is not uncommon to see a Journalist (with a capital J) launch into a diatribe against bloggers and sometimes even call for regulations to stop "citizen... MORE

North Korean Refugees and the Olympics

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I recently saw a bumper sticker that basically said that we should use the Beijing Olympics to shame the Chinese into releasing hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees. This seems like a worthy cause that even American opponents of... MORE

Disorder at the Border

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Philippe Legrain says, Illegal immigrants are not the problem, they are the symptom of the real problem: immigration restrictions that are economically stupid, politically unsustainable and morally wrong. Far from protecting society, immigration controls undermine law and order, just as... MORE

Economics vs. Computer Science

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Nick Schulz writes, The number of new computer science majors today has fallen by half since 2000, according to the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. Merrilea Mayo, director of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable at the National Academies, says the... MORE

From Autos to Health Care

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
The Wall Street Journal reports, Last year, Ford began offering a buyout package that covers schooling, following an internal 2005 study that showed many of its younger workers would leave if given a chance to attend college. Under this plan,... MORE

"The Jobs Americans Won't Do": The Fallacy and the Reformulation

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Chris Hayes inveighs against the economically silly argument that immigrants do jobs Americans don't want:I don’t want to buy a slice of pizza for $45. It doesn’t mean I don’t like pizza! I’m not particularly interested in writing a book... MORE

What's New at GMU Econ

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Since the new academic year is about to start, I thought I'd fill you in on what's new at GMU Econ. First, the bad news: Some of our experimentalists are leaving, including Nobel prize-winner Vernon Smith. Second, the good news:... MORE

A Specter of Common Sense

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I can't remember the last time I favorably quoted a politician, but these paragraphs from Arlen Specter are good enough to justify a break with tradition:The main objective in legalizing the 12 million was to eliminate their fugitive status, allowing... MORE

Cheers for a Two-Tier Society

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Giovanni Peri writes, U.S.-born workers are climbing the educational ladder, acquiring interactive/analytic skills and progressively leaving the manual jobs that would put them in competition with immigrants. If the trend continues as expected, the day is not far off when... MORE

Mea Culpa: How I Succumbed to Anti-Foreign Bias

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A high fraction of immigrants are young, low-skilled, Hispanic males. Given these demographics, I long assumed that immigrants would have relatively high crime rates. While I kept this problem in perspective, I took it for granted that increased crime was... MORE

Economic Advisers Stoop to the Net

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Greg Mankiw writes, 1. Alan's views are a challenge to the economic mainstream. 2. Alan did not present his new views in a refereed academic publication but instead in Foreign Affairs, a publication aimed at the broad policy community, and... MORE

Opposition to Immigration: Get Your Story Straight

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Some opponents of immigration think it benefits the poor at the expense of the rich by increasing support for the welfare state. Other opponents of immigration think it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor by reducing the... MORE

Interview with Trent McBride, Including the Political Consequences of Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Here's a print interview with Trent McBride of Distributed Republic. I had a lot of fun doing it, and there's little overlap with the (also very fun) Nick Schulz TCS interview. The highlight for EconLog readers will no doubt be... MORE

DeLong on Borjas on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
DeLong concludes with a reasonable demand: [T]he thing to object to in the turn this entire debate has taken has been the failure to focus evenly on the consequences for all stakeholders in global migration--look at what happens to everyone,... MORE

Greg Mankiw Steps in it Again

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
The Washington Post reports, Highlighting the challenge a far-flung campaign faces when it comes to message discipline, Romney has had to distance himself from his top economics adviser after Mankiw -- a Princeton-trained economist now teaching at Harvard -- voiced... MORE

Immigration Quota Management

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Russ Roberts writes, There's going to be a point system to determine who gets one of the precious 380,000 visas that are up for grabs. Highly educated people get points. People with skills that are in high demand, whatever that... MORE

Concerns About the Immigration Bill

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
James Miller writes, Unskilled Immigrants + Large Welfare State = Higher Taxes I would add Congress + Hundreds of Legislative Pages = Unintended Consequences Up the Wazoo I don't know what the consequences of the law will be, but I... MORE

Let's Increase Poverty

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Lant Pritchett writes The principal way rich countries disadvantage the poor world is not through unfair trade, or through intrusive and ineffective aid, or by forcing repayments of debts. The primary policy pursued by every rich country is to prevent... MORE

Thoughts on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Alvaro Vargas Llosa writes, Whenever there is a disconnect between the law and reality, reality finds ways of making the law irrelevant... It is always hard to oppose an emotional reaction with logical arguments and statistical evidence. Otherwise, the argument... MORE

"Are Low-Skilled Americans the Master Race?" Flashback

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
How's this for Trackback delay - the Economist blog just referenced last year's controversial Econlog post "Are Low-Skilled Americans the Master Race?" In the process, it accidentally underscores the case for congestion charges: America or Europe could easily be demographically... MORE

Borjas: What's His Problem?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
George Borjas, the most academically reputable critic of immigration in economics, is now blogging. To be frank, I just don't get him. There isn't a decent economist alive who would oppose free trade in textiles by pointing out that it... MORE

Illegal Immigration and Political Culture

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Several readers have asked me to discuss the effects of immigration on policy, and sometime in the next few weeks I'm going to satisfy their request. But here's a quick reaction to Arnold's approving (?) link to Bill Whittle's worries... MORE

Immigration, Libertarianism, and Democracy

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
A reader asks, Bryan Caplan's new book (which I look forward to) says voters are irrational. Do you think they would be more or less rational in a society with high migration rates? I am reading Amy Chua's World on... MORE

A Childish Question About Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I've often heard opponents of Latin American immigration complain that they're lowering our average IQ. Here's Tommy commenting on Tyler: What matters in a society, in any society, is a healthy mean IQ. I've noticed a tendency on this blog... MORE

Sailer's Challenge

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Further down the comments on Tyler's piece on education, Steve Sailer asks a (seemingly) pointed question: Tyler, If you came flat out and told the truth -- that IQ matters a lot in terms of overall economic productivity and that... MORE

Barone on the Kling Scenario

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Michael Barone writes, Start with the Coastal Megalopolises: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago (on the coast of Lake Michigan), Miami, Washington and Boston. Here is a pattern you don't find in other big cities: Americans moving... MORE

India's Achilles Heel

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
This article would be good to give to freshman econ students--and others. India has technical institutes that seldom have electricity, and colleges with no computers. There are universities where professors seldom show up. Textbooks can be decades old. Instruction is... MORE

Offshorable Jobs

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Today's Wall Street Journal reports on Alan Blinder's estimates of jobs that might go offshore. he has been refining those estimates, by painstakingly ranking 817 occupations, as described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to identify how likely each is... MORE

Borjas, Wages, and Immigration: The Complete Story

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
George Borjas is the source of the widely-quoted factoid that immigration has reduced the wages of low-skilled natives by 8%. So I was quite surprised to discover the following table when I was flipping through Borjas' labor textbook:Short Run Long... MORE

And Bring on the Mexicans

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Bryan lauds high-skilled immigrants. Matthew Quirk talks about Mexican immigrants. By 2003, ...the roughly 20 million Mexican-origin workers in America create a larger gross product than Mexico itself. ...Five predominantly rural Mexican states—Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas—send... MORE

Cream of the Crop

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
The most elite man alive has sensibly radical views on immigration. And he's suggested a great nerdy slogan, too: infinite visas. Perhaps he should found the Brains Against Brain Drain Club? I can't help but recall the lead quote to... MORE

Economic Turbulence

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
From Economic Turbulence, by Clair Brown, John Haltiwanger, and Julia Lane: The basic message here is that businesses with higher-quality work forces and lower churning are more likely [to] survive...Wal-Mart has succeeded with a low workforce quality and high worker... MORE

Why Does Homelessness Persist in Rich Liberal Cities?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
During my stay in SoCal, a surprising thought kept returning to me: Why hasn't government solved the problem of homelessness? I know this question seems out of character. But I not saying that government should solve the problem of homelessness;... MORE

An Idea only an Economist Could Love

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Dwight Lee writes, The suggested policy is straightforward. Simply give Americans the right to sell their citizenships to non-Americans, with the sellers having to leave the country and the buyers allowed to move in with all the rights and opportunities... MORE

Mmm... Immigration Doughnuts

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Before blogging, there were listservs. I ran one for Armchair Economists. (Technically, it's still up, but competition from blogging has all but killed it. That's Creative Destruction for you...) One of our liveliest debates revolved around the doughnut industry. In... MORE

Tyler Cowen on Mexican Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
He writes, Mexican immigrants used to have higher-than-average levels of education, but today the average male Mexican migrant has lower-than-average education by Mexican standards... A better immigration policy would tighten the border, while allowing in more legal immigrants from Mexico... MORE

Immigration: Has the Public Been Ignored?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Matt Yglesias is puzzled that my piece in Cato Unbound uses immigration as an example where the public's misconceptions have led to pernicious policies: Strangely, he takes immigration as his main example. If I were trying to devise an example... MORE

The Smoot-Hawley Fence

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Be careful what you wish for on border security and illegal immigration. Here is one story. Carnes ended up with less than 100 workers and fell two weeks behind, with bits and pieces of the fields unpicked. His income fell... MORE

Benefits of Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Michael Kremer and Stanley Watt write Since high-skilled natives with a higher opportunity cost of time are more likely to purchase domestic services from immigrants, native high-skilled workers will spend more time working in the labor market. To the extent... MORE

The Saddest Sentence I've Read Today

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
was written by Rich Lowry. The key is stepped-up interior enforcement to cut off the jobs magnet that draws so many illegals here. My guess is that the adverse economic consequences of shutting down this market could be larger than... MORE

For Open Borders

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Sebastian Mallaby writes, In Let Their People Come, a new book published by the Center for Global Development, Lant Pritchett reports that if rich countries permitted extra immigration equivalent to 3 percent of their labor force, the citizens of poor... MORE

Outsourcing and Wages

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
A news story reports Princeton professors Gene Grossman and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg argued that wages for the least-skilled blue collar jobs had been rising since 1997 as outsourcing boosted productivity. The intuition of their argument can be found in this paper.... MORE

Yanquico

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Immigration skeptics like Victor Davis Hanson, author of Mexifornia, warn that Mexican culture is supplanting our own. My knee-jerk reaction is to say "Mildly. What's the big deal?" But a fine essay by Douglas Massey has shown me the error... MORE

Trading or Sharing?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Richard Rodriguez writes, The contribution of illegal lives is never counted—never—as praise or admiration or courage or virtue of any kind. It is as though America, having benefited from illegal labor, pretends that the transaction was one of middle-class benevolence.... MORE

Immigration Metaphors

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Anthony de Jasay takes an "on the one hand, on the other hand" approach to immigration. One strand of libertarian doctrine holds that it is precisely private property that should serve as the sole control mechanism of immigration. Immigrants should... MORE

Divisions on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Jerry Bowyer writes, If 200 years from now America will be filled with people who know and love the ideas of Jefferson and Madison -- but these people are overwhelmingly dark skinned -- will this be good or bad? That's... MORE

Woof!

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Mankiw's dogs Tobin and Keynes just got a playmate... a bulldog named Caplan.... MORE

Are Immigrants "Ordinary People"?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A while back I polemically asked, "Are low-skilled Americans the master race?" The targets of my ridicule called me an elitist. But my elitism is nothing compared to this gem from Dennis Mangan: All of his [Mankiw's] academic theorizing about... MORE

Doesn't Academia Already Have De Facto Free Immigration?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A number of economists have pledged their support for free immigration for professors in response to a challenge my Matt Yglesias. I'm happy to sign on. But I'm rather puzzled by this whole discussion. Correct me if I'm wrong, but... MORE

Immigration: Seeing is Understanding

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Survey USA ran a neat survey about immigration late last year. They asked people in all 50 states: Which of these 2 statements do you agree with more: One: Immigrants take jobs away from Americans. Two: Immigrants do jobs that... MORE

Economists on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Alex Tabarrok composed a letter to the political community from the economics community on immigration. He has posted the letter. Here is an excerpt: Immigrants do not take American jobs. The American economy can create as many jobs as there... MORE

"Virtually Bone from the Neck Up"

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Don't miss Arnold's link to Val MacQueen's great essay on the triumph of the Ugandan refugees. I especially liked the opening: His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the... MORE

Builders' Rights?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
When I scoffed at the idea that we should help low-skilled Americans by keeping out and deporting immigrants, some angry folks retorted: "We Americans built this country! That makes it ours, and entitles us to keep them out." Which makes... MORE

Free Trade Equals Redistribution?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
George Borjas writes, Immigration policy is just another redistribution program. In the short run, it transfers wealth from one group (workers) to another (employers). Whether or not such transfers are desirable is one of the central questions in the immigration... MORE

Still More on Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
My latest essay uses the N-word. What should you call someone who wants government to provide for our education, competitiveness, and health care but whose concern about "us" stops at the border? The obvious label would be national socialist. But... MORE

With Critics of Immigration Like This, Who Needs Advocates?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
I occasionally quip that I like the whole range of economists from Mises to Krugman. We can squabble amongst ourselves, but it's amazing how much we really agree. Now Krugman is voicing doubts about immigration, but once again, he doesn't... MORE

Half Million Rally Against Anti-Foreign Bias

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
It's not often that economic literacy has half a million people march on its behalf. From the AP: LOS ANGELES (AP) - Thousands of immigration advocates marched through downtown Los Angeles in one of the largest demonstrations for any cause... MORE

Alan Blinder is Not Stupid

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Despite Harold Meyerson's make-work bias interpretation, Blinder's actual paper says, The job categories that will move offshore as the Information Age progresses will not disappear entirely from the U.S. and other rich countries. But their shares of the work forces... MORE

Economic Fallacies

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
Two painfully bad op-eds in the Washington Post today. First, Robert J. Samuelson writes, What we have now -- and would with guest workers -- is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in... MORE

More Cool Work By Hainmueller and Hiscox

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
In "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration In Europe," Hainmueller and Hiscox confirm what I've been telling economists for years: Low-skilled workers are more opposed to immigration because they are less economically literate, not because they selfishly calculate that immigration... MORE

Drain Our Brains: It's the Law!

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
If you want to get a U.S. student visa, you're supposed to demonstrate "nonimmigrant intent." As one immigration lawyer puts it: "the student must have 'nonimmigrant intent' – that is, an intention to return to their home county and not... MORE

Where Dysgenics Goes Wrong: Comparative Advantage Strikes Again

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
A number of smart people, Charles Murray included, are worried about "dysgenic pressure." The story, in brief, is that: 1. Intelligence is highly heritable. 2. The more intelligent have fewer kids than less intelligent. 3. Our average IQ is declining,... MORE

Where Eugenics Goes Wrong: The Implications of Comparative Advantage

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Almost no one wants to be called a "eugenicist." It's a term of abuse. But if you go back to the origin of the term, it basically amounts to the following two claims: Claim #1: One of the main causes... MORE

Models of the Model Minority

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
Asians have often been called the "model minority" - non-whites who by most measures are better-off and more successful than whites. But if you imagine that no one would complain about a positive stereotype of a minority, you don't know... MORE

Immigration on Trial

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
In a letter submitted to the Wall Street Journal, Cafe Hayek blogger Don Boudreaux observes: [O]pponents of openness often allege that immigrants come here to free-ride on taxpayer-supplied welfare. That this allegation is a canard is revealed by the innumerable... MORE

Where Would You Prefer that Women Be Oppressed?

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
In September, Arnold wisely asked: On the issue of poverty and immigration, which Robert J. Samuelson raised, I would ask, "Where would you prefer that people be poor?" That is, do we want to insist that poor Hispanics should remain... MORE

Immigration

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Arnold Kling
I write, On the issue of poverty and immigration, which Robert J. Samuelson raised, I would ask, "Where would you prefer that people be poor?" That is, do we want to insist that poor Hispanics should remain in their native... MORE

The Economics and Philosophy of the Cruise Ship

Economic Philosophy
Bryan Caplan
I've taken cruises to Bermuda, the Bahamas, and in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. And of course I'm not one to just sit back and enjoy the food. My mind soon wanders back to economics and philosophy. Tyler Cowen's recent... MORE

Anti-Foreign Bias Strikes Again

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Bryan Caplan
The Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science blog features an interesting graph comparing the actual and perceived percentange of foreign-born residents in 20 European countries. Consistent with my research on anti-foreign bias, people overestimate the percentage of foreigners in... MORE

What is a Modern Recession?

Macroeconomics
Arnold Kling
Robert Hall writes Unemployment rises not because of a bulge of layoffs but because workers entering job search—from previous jobs, from school, and from home activities—experience unusual difficulty in finding jobs. Among other things, this means that stories on layoffs,... MORE

Debating Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
The link may only work for a day, but Tyler Cowen and John Irons go at it on the online WSJ over outcourcing. I think that Tyler supplies all of the highlights: Outsourcing resembles technical progress in its economics; in... MORE

Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Bruce Bartlett surveys recent cost-benefit analysis. In July, economist Martin N. Baily, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton, looked at who benefits from outsourcing. He found that... on balance, the U.S. economy gains $1.12 to $1.14... MORE

Trade Conference

International Trade
Arnold Kling
I attended most of this Cato Institute Conference on trade, outsourcing, and the labor market. A few notes: Federal Reserve Board Vice-Chairman Roger Ferguson's opening speech was outstanding. I commend it to anyone who teaches undergraduate economics as a useful... MORE

Outsourcing Data

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Daniel Drezner writes that actual data on outsourcing has been hard to come by. Now, however, we can add some actual figures to the overheated debate. The Government Accountability Office has issued its first review of the data, and one... MORE

Wages Move Toward Equilibrium

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week writes, the surge in companies going to India, China, and Eastern Europe in search of very cheap brainpower may soon be coming to an end -- far sooner than anyone has anticipated. Why? Simply put,... MORE

Outsourcing = Economic Activity

Business Economics
Arnold Kling
The Economist writes, SO YOU want to withdraw cash from your bank account? Do it yourself. Want to install a broadband internet connection? Do it yourself. Need a boarding card issued for your flight? Do it yourself... Many people complain... MORE

Outsourcing Muddles

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Can trade make us worse off? Evidently, Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson is going to make that claim. Trade, in other words, may not always work to the advantage of the American economy, according to Mr. Samuelson. In an interview last... MORE

Disintermediation and Outsourcing

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Julian Sanchez picked up from Gene Healy a Times of India story with a new twist on outsourcing. Says a programmer on Slashdot.org who outsourced his job: "About a year ago I hired a developer in India to do my... MORE

I Wish Tiebout Could See This

Labor Mobility, Immigration, Outsourcing
Michael Munger
by Michael Munger Guest Blogger "Tiebout sorting", named after Charles Tiebout (1924-1968) is one of the ways that public economists have described the effects of differences in levels of public expenditure and variations in policy in a federal system. The... MORE

Demographics

Social Security
Arnold Kling
The International Economy Magazine collects twenty opinions on the issue of demographic change in one issue. For example, Michael Boskin writes, The United States is in far better shape to deal with these issues than the bulk of the developed... MORE

Indian Labor Productivity

International Trade
Arnold Kling
I'm at a conference put on by the Milken Institute, and hence the light blogging. At one session on outsourcing and jobs, Clarence Schmitz, the CEO of an outsourcing firm, said that they had anticipated needing 1.2 Indian workers to... MORE

Outsourcing Winners and Losers

International Trade
Arnold Kling
When you open up trade opportunities, will the benefits go to people with high incomes or people with low incomes? Brad DeLong walks through the logic that says that if foreigners have a comparative advantage in high-income occupations (such as... MORE

Saving Jobs from Outsourcing

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Stuart Anderson looks at the arithmetic of Indiana's effort to save jobs from outsourcing. Out of 65 contract employees, Tata would have employed a number of Hoosiers through an Indiana-based subcontractor, but would also have used Indians currently employed by... MORE

Finite Labor Supply in India

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Anti-outsourcing alarmists say that India has an "infinite supply of cheap labor." If that were true, then we would not be reading stories like this. According to a Nasscom Hewitt Total Rewards Survey 2003, the entry level salary (junior software... MORE

Immigrant Labor Market Issues

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
Caitlin Flanagan's cover story (as of this writing, not yet on line) for the March issue of The Atlantic Monthly is on the crucial role played by female immigrant workers in the "have-it-all" lifestyle of professional women with children. one... MORE

Cost-of-Living Arbitrage, II

International Trade
Arnold Kling
I received a lot of pushback on my earlier post. Comments and email have pointed out that (a) the cost of living really is five times lower in India and (b) Indian expatriates are indeed moving back home to take... MORE

Cost-of-Living Arbitrage

International Trade
Arnold Kling
An engineer from India emails me, The purchasing power parity in India is 5 compared to USA - a 20000 $ programmer in India is actually making 100,000 $ in terms of his spending power. ...an average programmer in India... MORE

Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
It's the topic du jour. Here is Dan Pink's story for Wired. A century ago, 40 percent of Americans worked on farms. Today, the farm sector employs about 3 percent of our workforce. But our agriculture economy still outproduces all... MORE

Fine-tuning Immigration

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Two articles today discuss economic ideas for fine-tuning immigration policy. James Miller writes, The guest worker program should allocate visas to communities and then permit each community to decide how many of their visas to issue. For example, if Northampton,... MORE

Immigration Reform

Labor Market
Arnold Kling
In my essay, I made an off-hand comment. If the households and businesses that hire illegal immigrants do so in order to save the cost of paying taxes, and they will not pay the taxes even when an employment agency... MORE

Economics of Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
Brad DeLong makes another attempt to explain the economics of outsourcing. Remember: few would be worried about "outsourcing" if the U.S. unemployment rate were still close to four percent, rather than at the above six percent level that it is.... MORE

Trade Controversies

International Trade
Arnold Kling
The New York Times has several recent articles on international trade. One piece discusses IBM's evaluation of outsourcing. in recent weeks many politicians in Washington, including some in the Bush administration, have begun voicing concerns about the issue during a... MORE

Outsourcing

International Trade
Arnold Kling
I try to make the classic case for free trade in an article about outsourcing to India. In fact, a good way to attain clarity in discussing the issue of outsourcing is to substitute the phrase "economic activity" for outsourcing:... MORE

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