Without Immigration, U.S. Economy Will Struggle to Grow
Slowing labor force growth is the product of a number of factors—the aging of the U.S. population, retiring baby boomers and declining birth rates. But another element is immigration.
We quantify the barriers that impede the integration of immigrants into foreign labor markets and investigate their aggregate implications. We develop a model of occupational choice with natives and immigrants of multiple types whose decisions are subject to wedges which distort their allocation across occupations. We estimate the model to match salient features of U.S. and cross-country individual-level data. We find that there are sizable GDP gains from removing the wedges faced by immigrants in U.S. labor markets, accounting for approximately one-fifth of the overall economic contribution ...
Immigrants in the U.S. labor market
Immigrants supply skills that are in relatively short supply in the U.S. labor market and account for almost half of labor force growth since the mid-1990s. Migrant inflows have been concentrated at the low and high ends of the skill distribution. Large-scale unauthorized immigration has fueled growth of the low-skill labor force, which has had modest adverse fiscal and labor market effects on taxpayers and U.S.-born workers. High-skilled immigration has been beneficial in most every way, fueling innovation and spurring entrepreneurship in the high tech sector. Highly skilled immigrants have ...
The Indirect Fiscal Benefits of Low-Skilled Immigration
Low-skilled immigrants indirectly affect public finances through their effect on native wages & labor supply. We operationalize this general-equilibrium effect in the workhorse labor market model with heterogeneous workers and intensive and extensive labor supply margins. We derive a closed-form expression for this effect in terms of estimable statistics. We extend the analysis to various alternative specifications of the labor market and production that have been emphasized in the immigration literature. Empirical quantifications for the U.S. reveal that the indirect fiscal benefit of one ...
Human Capital and Development Accounting: New Evidence from Wage Gains at Migration
We use new data on the pre- and post-migration wages of U.S. immigrants to measure the importance of human capital for development accounting. Wages increase at migration, but by less than half of the gap in GDP per worker. This finding implies that human capital accounts for a large share of cross-country income differences. Wage gains decline with education, consistent with imperfect substitution between skill types. We bound the human capital share in development accounting to between one-half and two-thirds; additional assumptions lead to an estimate of 60 percent. We also provide results ...
Dynamic Responses to Immigration
I analyze the dynamic effects of immigration by estimating an equilibrium model of local labor markets in the US. The model includes firms in multiple cities and sectors which combine capital, skilled and unskilled labor in production, and forward-looking workers who choose their sector and location each period as a dynamic discrete choice. A counterfactual unskilled immigration inflow leads to an initial wage drop for unskilled workers and a wage increase for skilled workers. These effects dissipate rapidly as unskilled workers migrate away from heavily affected cities and workers shift ...
Global Perspectives: Glenn Hubbard on Immigration, Economic Dynamism and Limits of Monetary Policy
Hubbard and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan discussed his experiences working in the George W. Bush administration and immigration's impact on the workforce.
New Findings on the Fiscal Impact of Immigration in the United States
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2016) report on the economic and fiscal effects of immigration included the first set of comprehensive fiscal impacts published in twenty years. The estimates highlight the pivotal role of the public goods assumption. If immigrants are assigned the average cost of public goods, such as national defense and interest on the debt, then immigration?s fiscal impact is negative in both the short and long run. If, instead, immigrants are assigned the marginal cost of public goods, then the long-run fiscal impact is positive and the ...
Spanish-Speaking Growth in Texas Reinforces Need to Close Education Gaps
The Eleventh Federal Reserve District has the second-largest native Spanish-language population in the Federal Reserve System. That population will grow further as the number of Hispanics exceeds 20 million in Texas alone by 2050.
The Effect of Immigration on Local Labor Markets: Lessons from the 1920s Border Closure
In the 1920s, the United States substantially reduced immigration by imposing country-specific entry quotas. We compare local labor markets differentially exposed to the quotas due to variation in the national origin mix of their immigrant populations. U.S.-born workers in areas losing immigrants did not gain in income score relative to workers in less exposed areas. Instead, in urban areas, European immigrants were replaced with internal migrants and immigrants from Mexico and Canada. By contrast, farmers shifted toward capital-intensive agriculture, and the immigrant-intensive mining ...