Immigration Is Good for the Economy 1

These comments made yesterday have prompted me to write a series of blog posts. I only hope that zeezil or other commentators decide to respond to my specific points instead of pasting cookie cutter commentary.

THE FISCAL COST OF IMMIGRATION by Edwin Rubenstein is a fatally flawed study which uses poor methodology. Rubenstein claims that tax revenue was lower than expected because of immigrant competition driving down wages. That claim assumes two things: 1. Wages have decreased and 2. Immigrants decreased them. Neither of those assertions is true. As Professors Russ Roberts and Don Boudreaux at George Mason University are fond of pointing out on cafehayek, statistics which purport to show a decrease in wages since the 1970s do not include factors such as overestimation of inflation, increased paid vacation time, healthcare benefits, dental care, and employer matching savings plans. Considering those factors, wages have risen substantially since the 1970s.

Far from decreasing wages, immigrants have INCREASED the wages of 92% of Americans between 1970 and 2000. The 8% of Americans negatively impacted by immigration are those who failed to earn a high-school degree. RETHINKING THE GAINS FROM IMMIGRATION: THEORY AND EVIDENCE FROM THE U.S. by Ottaviano and Peri clearly and concisely reports these facts. Far from hurting our economy and decreasing tax revenue, immigrants fill the government’s coffers.