Thursday, January 18, 2018

on immigration and the Class of 2018

In some ways, immigration is not all that difficult to analyze. The first key is an opening concept from an Intro to Microecon course. When immigrants come here to work, buy, borrow, sell, etc., they engage in voluntary, mutually beneficial trades that are good for them and for society.

(Of course, there's more to life than econ. Most notably, if one wants to add a political element, we want immigrants to be good citizens too-- no crime, terrorism, etc. If one is concerned about culture, arguments can be made about degrees of uniformity, etc.)

If they come and get/stay on welfare benefits, then it's a net drain on society, in efficiency terms. (Of course, there's more to life than efficiency. But we shouldn't imagine that the inefficient is efficient.)

And note that all of the above can be said about domestics too!

A useful way to think about immigration is the difference between accepting vs. sending-away the high school Class of 2018. Sending them away would have some obvious benefits-- in particular, less labor market competition. But on net, even with some deadbeats, yahoos, and ne'erdowells, it's a lovely thing that the Class joins us in the workplace and in society.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home