IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruth Uwaifo, 2005. "Comparing the “D.V” lottery with the point system: costs, benefits and a superior alternative," Labor and Demography 0509009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0509009
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 38

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Immigration; DV lottery; Point system;

    JEL classification:

    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0509009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.