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Economif Effects Of Immigration

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I. The rise of migration

„« About 140 million persons - roughly 2 percent of the world's population - live in a country where they were not born.

„« Immigrants tend to increase foreign-born population. Nearly 6 percent of Austria's population, 17 percent of Canada's, 11 percent of France's, and 17 percent of Switzerland's is foreign-born.

„« The number of immigrants in the United States increased from 10 million to 26 million between 1970 and 1998.

„« The most important lesson is that the economic impact of immigration will vary by time and place, and that immigration can be either beneficial or harmful.

II. Trends in Immigrant Skills

„« Economic theory implies that the labor market impact of immigration depends on how the skills of immigrants compare with those of native-born citizens in the host country.

„« In 1960, the average immigrant man living in the United States earned about 4 percent more than the average native-born man. By 1998, the average immigrant earned about 23 percent less. The worsening economic performance of immigrants can be attributed partly to a decline in their relative skills across successive waves.

„« History suggests that economic assimilation - the acquisition of skills, such as English-language proficiency, that employerÐŽ¦s value, narrows the wage gap between immigrants and native born citizens.

„« In other words, the most recent immigrant waves will probably suffer a substantial economic disadvantage for decades to come.

„« Economic performance differs significantly according to the immigrant group's country of origin, Immigrants from countries with abundant human capital and higher levels of per capita income tend to do better in other countries.

„« Given the sizable skill differentials across ethnic groups, it is not surprising that changes in the national origin mix of immigrants can explain the decline in the economic performance of successive immigrant waves.

III. Economic Consequences of Immigration

„« Immigrants tend to cluster geographically in a small number of cities and states.

„« This geographic clustering suggests that one might be able to measure how immigration affects the labor market opportunities of native born worker.

„« Firms looking for cheap labor indeed have responded to immigration, Because of these responses Ultimately, all native-born workers are worse off because of immigration.

Ñ"ж The fact that some native-born workers lose from immigration implies

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