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Comparing the “D.V” lottery with the point system: costs, benefits and a superior alternative

Listed author(s):
  • Ruth Uwaifo

    (University if California, Berkeley)

The diversity visa lottery popularly known as the D.V lottery is a U.S relatively new immigration policy that was shrouded with a lot of controversy at its inception in 1995. The main stated objective of this policy is to increase diversity in the U.S. However, from the policy inception, immigration specialists seriously doubted the claimed objective. They strongly believe that the congressional sponsors of the visa lottery adopted the 'diversity' mantra as a cover for a program that was actually designed to satisfy other objectives. Whether or not this claim is true is yet unanswered objectively and would be probably had to verify. In this paper, we review in details the D.V immigration policy program considering qualitatively its potential costs and benefits to the US. We then highlight in details the pros and cons of the most commonly suggested alternative to this program, the point systems. Then using simple cost/ benefit techniques, we attempt to estimate the fiscal benefit or burden of each program under certain conditions and assumptions. Finally, we propose an alternative policy that would achieve the diversity objective and dominates both policy programs for the U.S in terms of net fiscal benefit.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0509009.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 19 Sep 2005
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0509009
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 38
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  1. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  2. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1994. "The Performance of Immigrants in the Canadian Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 369-405, July.
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