The Fletcher School, Tufts University and University of California, Berkeley
An estimated 7.6 million unauthorized immigrants ages 18 and older were in the U.S. labor force in 2017, representing 4.6 percent of the labor force. Undocumented foreign workers earn lower wages than legal immigrants and native workers with similar skills. What are the reasons for this wage gap?
Our results show that lack of legal status lowers the productivity and wages of undocumented workers. Without work permits, they face reduced access to jobs, which discourages them from investing in human capital. Fear of deportation causes high rates of anxiety and depression, further reducing their productivity. Hence, policies that improve access to jobs for undocumented workers will increase their productivity and lead to net economic gains.
In what has become a predictable cycle, policymakers meet under pressure to raise the “debt ceiling,” the legal limit on the amount of debt the federal government can accumulate.
Raising the debt limit has nothing to do with controlling future spending or raising the taxes necessary to pay for future spending; it’s just a matter of paying bills that we've already incurred. The debate about spending more or accumulating more debt implicitly occurred (or should have explicitly occurred) when policymakers voted to raise spending or cut taxes in the first place. While it is difficult to predict the precise magnitude and composition of the economic effects of the U.S. government defaulting on its debt, the effects would not be good. At the broadest level, creating a politically-manufactured crisis that threatens the full faith and credit standing of government debt hardly seems like a smart or patriotic thing to do. For all of these reasons, the idea of lawmakers willfully defaulting on our debt by not raising the debt limit is alarming— this is something to avoid.
After four decades of mostly steady enrollment growth, international student enrollments in the U.S. have recently declined. International students make up almost 6% of higher education enrollments and an even larger share of students at flagship universities, contributing meaningfully to the academic and financial robustness of higher education institutions.
The number of international students beginning studies in the U.S. has recently declined after decades of growth. For colleges and universities, this reversal potentially signals erosion in a critical submarket. For local communities, states, and the country as a whole, a decline in international student enrollments represents a contraction in an important export market.
While globalization has made people better off in aggregate, it has created winners and losers. How much of globalization's adverse impact is due to cross-border trade, versus technological advances and automation? Maurice Obstfeld, UC Berkeley, and Michael Klein, Executive Editor of EconoFact, discuss.Read more
The yuan has declined in value against the dollar by about 9 percent since the Spring of 2018. A weaker yuan tends to make Chinese goods cheaper in the United States and would partially offset the tariffs that the Trump administration is imposing on Chinese imports.
While the Chinese government maintains broad control over its currency’s value, the key point is that the dollar is strong against a wide range of currencies, and not just the yuan. This broad strength points to domestic sources of the dollar’s high value, not Chinese actions. The most likely sources are widening U.S. budget deficits and the strength of the U.S. economy relative to its trading partners.