We estimate the economic effects of short-term work by a small sample of farmers from Haiti in the United States, where no US workers are available. We then compare these to the effects of more traditional assistance. We find that these work opportunities benefit Haitian families much more directly, and to a dramatically greater extent, than more traditional forms of assistance—raising workers’ current earnings on average by multiple of 15.
We report a small-sample, preliminary evaluation of the economic impact of temporary overseas work by Haitian agricultural workers. We find that the effects of matching new seasonal agricultural jobs in the US with Haitian workers differs markedly from the effects of more traditional forms of assistance to Haiti, in three ways: The economic benefits are shared roughly equally between Haiti and the United States; these benefits are very large, including raising the value of Haitian workers’ labor by a multiple of fifteen; and the portion of the benefits accruing to Haiti is uncommonly well-targeted for the direct benefit of poor Haitian households.
Temporary Work Visas: A Four-Way Win for the Middle Class, Low-Skill Workers, Border Security, and Migrants
The US economy needs low-skill workers now more than ever, and that requires a legal channel for the large-scale, employment-based entry of low-skill workers. The alternative is what the country has now: a giant black market in unauthorized labor that hinders job creation and harms border security. A legal time-bound labor-access program could benefit the American middle class and low-skill workers, improve US border security, and create opportunities for foreign workers.
Foreign Workers Benefit Massively from Guest Work Opportunities, Submission to House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protection
Michael Clemens’s “Foreign Workers Benefit Massively from Guest Work Opportunities” was entered into the Congressional Record by Chairman Tim Walberg, House Education and the Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, at a March 14, 2013, hearing, “Examining the Role of Lower-Skilled Guest Worker Programs in Today’s Economy.”
Migration and Disaster-Induced Displacement: European Policy, Practice, and Perspective - Working Paper 308
This study surveys the current state of law as it relates to persons displaced by natural disaster, with a specific focus on the 27 member states of the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland.
The United States should take modest steps to create a legal channel for limited numbers of people fleeing natural disasters overseas to enter the United States. This would address two related problems: the lack of any systematic U.S. policy to help the growing numbers of people displaced across borders by natural disasters and the inability of U.S. humanitarian relief efforts to reduce systemic poverty or sustainably improve victims’ livelihoods. The aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake presents a compelling case study of the administrative and legislative ways the U.S. government could address both problems. Migration is already a proven and powerful force for reducing Haitians’ poverty. A few modest changes in the U.S. approach could greatly aid Haiti’s recovery.
This policy brief explores the various legal channels through which the U.S. government could leverage the power of migration to help provide disaster relief.
Migration as a Tool for Disaster Recovery: A Case Study on U.S. Policy Options for Post-Earthquake Haiti - Working Paper 255
This paper explores the legal means by which victims of natural disasters could qualify as refugees and thus benefit from the power of migration as a tool for disaster recovery.
This paper argues that every rich country should consider its immigration policy to be part of its international development policy, and vice versa. A development policy that includes migration will be more effective; an immigration policy that includes development will better serve rich countries’ ideals and interests.