Mexican Immigration to the United States

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

From debates on Capitol Hill to the popular media, Mexican immigrants are the subject of widespread controversy. By 2003, their growing numbers accounted for 28.3 percent of all foreign-born inhabitants of the United States. Mexican Immigration to the United States analyzes the astonishing economic impact of this historically unprecedented exodus. Why do Mexican immigrants gain citizenship and employment at a slower rate than non-Mexicans? Does their migration to the U.S. adversely affect the working conditions of lower-skilled workers already residing there? And how rapid is the intergenerational mobility among Mexican immigrant families?

This authoritative volume provides a historical context for Mexican immigration to the U.S. and reports new findings on an immigrant influx whose size and character will force us to rethink economic policy for decades to come. Mexican Immigration to the United States will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about social conditions and economic opportunities in both countries.
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About the author

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.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Nov 1, 2007
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780226066684
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / International / General
Business & Economics / Labor
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Economics of Immigration provides students with the tools needed to examine the economic impact of immigration and immigration policies over the past century. Students will develop an understanding of why and how people migrate across borders and will learn how to analyze the economic causes and effects of immigration. The main objectives of the book are for students to understand the decision to migrate; to understand the impact of immigration on markets and government budgets; and to understand the consequences of immigration policies in a global context.

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.

International Remittance Payments are described mainly as money sent by immigrants to their families and friends in their home countries. These payments provide an important source of income that is mostly used to provide for a variety of basic needs of the non-migrating members of immigrant families and thus remittance payments can be considered as a tool to reduce the poverty level of the labor sending countries. However, remittances are also used for asset accumulation by some families and for some countries they constitute a good part of foreign funds coming into the country. In-spite of their increasing volume over the last few decades, a lot of things about remittances are not known and studies estimate that about half of these money transfers are not even recorded. Since these payments are shown to reduce poverty and help economic progress in the remittance receiving countries, a better knowledge about remittances would help the debates surrounding immigration, remittances and their relation to the global economy.

This book provides an overview of remittances in different parts of the world over the last thirty years. It looks at the labor sending and labor receiving countries separately. The text examines the trends, uses, motivations behind sending remittances, cost of sending them and how they are affected by the nature and the development level of different institutional factors.

The remittance flows are growing over time and they are used mostly for reducing the uncertainty of life in the less developed parts of the world. However, motivation for sending remittances could be improved and thus remittances could be more conducive to economic development if 1) the relation between the remittance decision and the migration decision is better understood and 2) the costs of international money transfers are reduced. More studies about those issues would benefit the international community. Efforts should be made in all fronts to encourage such international flow of funds not only to have a redistribution of income all over the world, but also to synchronize the efforts towards global economic development and a better integration of the world economy. This book is aimed researchers, policy practitioners and post graduates studying International Economics or International Economic Relations or Political Science or Economic Development.
Economic globalization is the process of increased integration among nations, characterized and fostered by three elements of international trade- goods and services, international capital flows, and international migration. In recent decades, international economic integration has increased both in depth (more pronounced bilateral connections) and in breadth (connections have become more commonplace), thus, the global economy has become increasingly integrated. Societies receive tremendous net benefits from economic globalization, however, accessing these benefits may be limited by cross-societal cultural differences.

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.

From “America’s leading immigration economist” (The Wall Street Journal), a refreshingly level-headed exploration of the effects of immigration.

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.

New York Times Bestseller

“Schlosser has a flair for dazzling scene-setting and an arsenal of startling facts . . . Fast Food Nation points the way but, to resurrect an old fast food slogan, the choice is yours.”—Los Angeles Times

In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.

In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.

“As disturbing as it is irresistible . . . Exhaustively researched, frighteningly convincing . . . channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Schlosser shows how the fast food industry conquered both appetite and landscape.”—The New Yorker

Eric Schlosser is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and the author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and Chew on This (with Charles Wilson).
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