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CGD in the News

The Case for Immigration (Vox)

April 3, 2017

From the article: 

Wages are easy to measure, so many studies focus on them for the sake of methodological simplicity. But there is more to life than cash wages, and studies show that immigration has significant indirect benefits.

One example is what Michael Clemens, Ethan Lewis, and Hannah Postel found when they looked at what happened in the 1960s when the United States decided to eliminate Mexican guest workers from America’s agricultural labor force. These guest workers, called braceros, were heavily present in some states, like Texas and California. Other states, such as Georgia and Wisconsin, had a few braceros. Some had no braceros whatsoever. By comparing wage trends in high-exposure, low-exposure, and no-exposure states, they were able to show that kicking out the guest workers had no real impact on farm wages. 

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Photo of Michael Clemens
Co-Director of Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy and Senior Fellow