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The Economic Benefits from Immigration

  • George J. Borjas

Natives benefit from immigration mainly because of production complementarities between immigrant workers and other factors of production, and these benefits are larger when immigrants are sufficiently `different' from the stock of native productive inputs. The available evidence suggests that the economic benefits from immigration for the United States are small, on the order of $6 billion and almost certainly less than $20 billion annually. These gains, however, could be increased considerably if the United States pursued an immigration policy which attracted a more skilled immigrant flow.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4955.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4955.

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Date of creation: Dec 1994
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 9, no. 2, (Spring 1995), pp. 3-22.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4955
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Web page: http://www.nber.org
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  1. Rachel M. Friedberg & Jennifer Hunt, 1995. "The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 23-44, Spring.
  2. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James, John A. & Skinner, Jonathan S., 1985. "The Resolution of the Labor-Scarcity Paradox," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(03), pages 513-540, September.
  5. Randall Filer, 1992. "The Effect of Immigrant Arrivals on Migratory Patterns of Native Workers," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 245-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "On the Labor Market Effects of Immigration and Trade," NBER Working Papers 3761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1985. "International Trade and Labor Migration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 691-707, September.
  8. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton, 1994. "Agglomeration and the Price of Land: Evidence from the Prefectures," NBER Working Papers 4781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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