George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a research associate at the NBER. He is the author of several books, most recently Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy.
From the first chapter, students will develop an appreciation of the importance of immigration as a separate academic field within labor economics and international economics. Topics covered include the effect of immigration on labor markets, housing markets, international trade, tax revenues, human capital accumulation, and government fiscal balances. The book also considers the impact of immigration on what firms choose to produce, and even on the ethnic diversity of restaurants and on financial markets, as well as the theory and evidence on immigrants’ economic assimilation. The textbook includes a comparative study of immigration policies in a number of immigrant-receiving and sending countries, beginning with the history of immigration policy in the United States. Finally, the book explores immigration topics that directly affect developing countries, such as remittances, brain drain, human trafficking, and rural-urban internal migration. Readers will also be fully equipped with the tools needed to understand and contribute to policy debates on this controversial topic.
This is the first textbook to comprehensively cover the economics of immigration, and it is suitable both for economics students and for students studying migration in other disciplines, such as sociology and politics.
This book examines cultural differences as a potential impediment to economic integration. Relying on rigorous statistical and econometric techniques, the analyses indicate that higher transaction costs, due to greater cultural distance, inhibit both the volume of trade flows and the successful completion of trade deals. Cultural distance appears to reduce foreign direct investment, as well as divert investment to less culturally-distant destinations. This book finds a negative relationship between migration flows and cultural distance. It considers the common criticism that repeated and intensified integration diminishes cultural differences, resulting in cultural homogeneity.
This book offers the first comprehensive examination of the relationships between cross-societal cultural differences and economic globalization. It will be of great interest to scholars and students who study globalization, international economics, and cultural studies.
We are a nation of immigrants, and we have always been concerned about immigration. As early as 1645, the Massachusetts Bay Colony began to prohibit the entry of “paupers.” Today, however, the notion that immigration is universally beneficial has become pervasive. To many modern economists, immigrants are a trove of much-needed workers who can fill predetermined slots along the proverbial assembly line.
But this view of immigration’s impact is overly simplified, explains George J. Borjas, a Cuban-American, Harvard labor economist. Immigrants are more than just workers—they’re people who have lives outside of the factory gates and who may or may not fit the ideal of the country to which they’ve come to live and work. Like the rest of us, they’re protected by social insurance programs, and the choices they make are affected by their social environments.
In We Wanted Workers, Borjas pulls back the curtain of political bluster to show that, in the grand scheme, immigration has not affected the average American all that much. But it has created winners and losers. The losers tend to be nonmigrant workers who compete for the same jobs as immigrants. And somebody’s lower wage is somebody else’s higher profit, so those who employ immigrants benefit handsomely. In the end, immigration is mainly just another government redistribution program.
“I am an immigrant,” writes Borjas, “and yet I do not buy into the notion that immigration is universally beneficial. . . . But I still feel that it is a good thing to give some of the poor and huddled masses, people who face so many hardships, a chance to experience the incredible opportunities that our exceptional country has to offer.” Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent, We Wanted Workers is essential reading for anyone interested in the issue of immigration in America today.
As Philadelphia struggled with deindustrialization, Jordan Stanger-Ross shows, Italian ethnicity in South Philly remained closely linked with preserving turf and marking boundaries. Toronto’s thriving Little Italy, on the other hand, drew Italians together from across the wider region. These distinctive ethnic enclaves, Stanger-Ross argues, were shaped by each city’s response to suburbanization, segregation, and economic restructuring. By situating malleable ethnic bonds in the context of political economy and racial dynamics, he offers a fresh perspective on the potential of local environments to shape individual identities and social experience.
Millions of Americans work full time, year round, for poverty-level wages. In 1998, Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that a job -- any job -- can be the ticket to a better life. But how does anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich left her home, took the cheapest lodgings she could find, and accepted whatever jobs she was offered. Moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, she worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She lived in trailer parks and crumbling residential motels. Very quickly, she discovered that no job is truly "unskilled," that even the lowliest occupations require exhausting mental and muscular effort. She also learned that one job is not enough; you need at least two if you int to live indoors.
Nickel and Dimed reveals low-rent America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate stratagems for survival. Read it for the smoldering clarity of Ehrenreich's perspective and for a rare view of how "prosperity" looks from the bottom. You will never see anything -- from a motel bathroom to a restaurant meal -- in quite the same way again.