Positive Effects of Immigration
In the past few years, the topic of immigration has been a cause for much conversation and debate. While many people have discussed the morals of immigration, many have also assessed how exactly immigration affects the United States at both smaller and larger levels. Currently, there is much debate among scholars, politicians, economists and citizens regarding immigration and the economic effects that arise from it. Immigration has been discussed at great lengths for the past few years, and based off of an assessment of various scholarly and public writing sources, it is evident that there is a good level of understanding in regards to how exactly immigration affects key economic factors, such as wages of American workers, employment of natural born citizens, national productivity and international competitiveness, and product prices in the United States.
On of the main areas of discussion is centered on how an increase in immigrant workers can affect the wages and salaries of the American workforce. In general, it is seen, overall, a rise in immigrant workers leads to an overall increase in wages, both in the short and long term. In the scholarly source, “The effect of immigrants on U.S. employment and productivity”, author Giovanni Peri highlights his conducted research on the topic. Peri finds that an increase of immigrant workers, gradually leads to increase of per-worker income. In a similar fashion, in “Immigration-induced effects of changes in size and skill distribution of the labor force on wages in the U.S.”, authors Manish Pandey and Ray Chaudhuri conducted research and analysis on the various effects of immigration. Pandey and Chaudhuri also found that the relative mean wages of workers, primarily in a skill intensive sector. Both of theses academic journals show that, given the time and research, it is seen that immigration ultimately does quite a bit to benefit the american worker, rather than detract from them.
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Continuing on the topic of benefits to the worker, many critics of immigration say the immigrants take jobs from American citizen’s, hurting their chance of employment. This is a talking point that has been used frequently in recent political discussions. Despite how common that opinion is, research generally points to the fact that immigrants do not take jobs from American workers. Peri also touches on this topic, concluding that there is no real evidence found that immigrant workers push away American workers in the process of employment. Comparatively, Brookings.edu author Brennan Hoban argues that most of the jobs immigrants do take are lower level jobs that American workers simply do not want to fill.
Having discussed the knowledge of lower level immigration effects, the higher level effects are often overlooked in general discussion. These high-level effects include America’s economic productivity and international competitiveness. As with the previous two subtopics, research generally finds that immigration has a positive result for productivity and competitiveness. In the academic journal, “The economic and labor market effects of immigration on the United States”, author Demetrios Papademetriou states that, because immigration leads to a bigger population, it leads to a bigger workforce, and thus, the capacity to produce greater capital and profit for the nation. Peri also finds that immigrant workers help the greater U.S. economy, attributes his prior claim of increased income to the increased productivity and efficiency that occurs at state level economies as a result of immigrant workers. Hoban finds that immigrant workers often provide a great benefit to regions of the United States that are experiencing a population decline, helping to keep the area’s economy stable.
The final topic of assessment is how immigration affects the consumer prices of products and services. The common viewpoint is that immigration generally lowers prices for skills and products that are labor intensive and typically done by low-skilled workers.
- Hoban, B. Do immigrants “steal” jobs from American workers?. Brookings.edu, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2017/08/24/do-immigrants-steal-jobs-from-american-workers/ (PAR 3)
- Peri, G. The effect of immigrants on U.S. employment and productivity. FRBSF Economic Letter. Vol 2010, Issue 26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 30 August, 2010, p1. (PAR 2) (PAR 3) (PAR 4)
- Pandey, M. Ray Chaudhuri, A. Immigration-induced effects of changes in size and skill distribution of the labor force on wages in the U.S.. Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol 52, Elsevier Inc, June 2017, p118-134. (PAR 2)
- Papademetriou, D. The economic and labor market effects of immigration on the United States. National Forum. Vol 74, Issue 3, 1994, p17. (PAR 4)
- “The Effects of Immigration on the United States’ Economy.” Penn Wharton Budget Model, 2016, budgetmodel.wharton.upenn.edu/issues/2016/1/27/the-effects-of-immigration-on-the-united-states-economy.
- Cortes, P. How Low-skilled Immigration is Changing US Prices and Labor Markets: 3 Essays – Dissertation Summary. Massachusetts Institute of Technology,