Do Economists Agree on the Impact of Immigration? (VIDEO)
Excerpt from webinar with Tara Watson (Williams College), Jennifer Hunt (Rutgers University) and Eduardo Porter (New York Times), October 9, 2018. A collaboration between EconoFact and The Hamilton Project, Brookings.
The Issue:What impact does immigration have on the employment prospects and wages of native workers? As the political debate over immigration continues, Jennifer Hunt at Rutgers University and Eduardo Porter of the New York Times give an overview of where economists agree, and disagree on the impact of immigration in the U.S.
Like population growth, immigration increases the economic pie. However, because immigrant skills tend to differ from those of natives, there are winners and losers.
What this Means:
While most economists agree that immigration does not affect the overall rate of employment, or the average wage among native workers, there are winners and losers. Those who stand to lose are most often high school dropouts, who find themselves competing for similar jobs with unskilled immigrants. At the same time, immigration brings with it changes in the kind of jobs demanded by the economy, opening up new opportunities that natives can move in to more easily. But, there are transitional costs which the native-born population can face in changing jobs--and these costs are often ignored.