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Does restricting immigration improve economic performance?

There are a lot of studies looking at the economic impacts of immigration, but what about the economic impacts of restricting immigration? Over the past few years, a lot of cities and counties have enacted restrictive laws, which creates a nice natural experiment of sorts: As an area becomes less friendly to immigrants, what happens to its economy?

Huyen Pham and Pham Hoang Van looked into this in a paper called "The Economic Impact of Local Immigration Regulation: an Empirical Analysis," and their answer, basically, is nothing good:

The results of this empirical study, the first of its kind, show that the restrictive laws had a negative but small economic effect on the jurisdictions where they are enacted. Specifically, the authors find that these laws had a 1 to 2 percent negative effect on employment; for the average U.S. county, this translates to about 337 to 675 lost jobs (40 to 80 lost jobs for the median county). Consistent with the effect on employment, payroll was also negatively affected. This drop in employment includes both authorized and unauthorized workers. The authors also find that the laws reduced employment in some industries, such as the restaurant industry, while increasing employment in others, such as the grocery and liquor store industry. This suggests that affected workers may be switching jobs, rather than leaving a particular jurisdiction altogether.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 5, 2010; 5:51 PM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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Are we a nation of laws, or would you rather decide based on economic advantage?
Perhaps Ezra would like to entertain the economics of restricting abortion and, if it's to his economic advantage, simply ignore the law?

(What a dope)

Posted by: WrongfulDeath | August 5, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I doubt that this study takes into consideration the possibility that we are daft enough to grant 11 million illegal immigrants amnesty/citizenship and then subsidize their health care to the tune of $5000 per year per individual and $10,000 per year per family. How 'bout it, research desk, think that might have some impact?

Posted by: bgmma50 | August 5, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Face it. The Dems and likes of Ezra want a permanent voting majority so they can continue the rush to create their Socialist dream, though I'm curious how some of them will benefit under that system. And as stated above, they're illegal.
But then with the likes of Barney (gayflophouse operator) Frank, Maxine (the Bank queen) Waters, and Charlie (the renter) running things, what can we expect.

Posted by: Boray1 | August 5, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

1) How many Washington Post staffers were part of JournoList and, if there are any currently unnamed, who are they?

2) Will the Post be transparent and either release or order its staffers to release their contributions to the list?

3) Will the Post release the names and affiliations of all those on the list or have its staffers do so?

4) Did the Post know about JournoList when Klein was hired and that it was a “center to left” group? If yes, what does that say about the Post’s claims of neutrality?

5) Did actions on JournoList violate the Post’s ethical guidelines?

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7) Will the Post permit staffers to belong to or operate such lists in the future?

8) Does the Post often embrace “off the record” e-mail conversations with hundreds of people at a time?

9) Was Klein’s supervisor(s) on the list and were they monitoring what went on?

10) Has the Post examined the possibility that JournoList impacted Post news coverage?

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16) Did Klein post written guidelines for all members of the list? If so, what were those guidelines?

17) Klein had said on The American Prospect on March 17, 2009: “There are no government or campaign employees on the list.” That has been proven false. How did he try to monitor this issue? Were there other members of the Obama campaign and administration on the list?

18) Did Klein ban anyone from the list?

19) Has Klein or any other Post staffer (other than Dave Weigel) offered to resign because of their contributions to the list?

20) When Klein shut down the list, did he delete the list? If not, will the Post order him to release it so that readers may decide for themselves?

Posted by: JoeJeffersonn | August 6, 2010 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Immigration plays a vital role in developing the economy of a country... When a country needs human resource they need people from other countries to work and play their part for the country and for themselves...


Posted by: Dflow | August 6, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Ezra thinks everyone who disagrees with him is a racist.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 6, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

According to the article: The laws take different forms:

1. some authorize local police to enforce federal immigration laws,
2. some restrict benefits like housing and employment to those with legal immigration status,
3. some require all government transactions to be conducted in English only.

It would be interesting to see a breakdown in the reduction by each of these forms.

(For the usual nuts on the issue, the first 2 increase to cost of government; the last form affects everyone).

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 6, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Apparently, the media hasn't hired illegals yet for writing chores and has barely begun outsourced content analysis...but this is changing as globals buy into American media and use labor from abroad.

One area is the cutting services from INDIA! WATCH OUT EZRA your job could be taken by an illegal or foreigner!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | August 6, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong with issuing work permits for a limited time period for quality working people sincere in seeking employment. But we are being over run and not by sweet people seeking only employment. Mexico has opened their jails and dumped these felons at our backdoor. The Obama administration has endangered our very existence with little clue as to who is running across. These wacky radical nit wits in Washington can stand up there and tell us that crime is down but not for us. We are not buying that dribble.
Our country needs to take care of those here before permits are allowed. This administration offered us a no jobs stimulus that stimulated the upward palms of leftists, unions, environmentalists who have trouble with the truth and keeping up their pants and those who like getting monkeys high. But they did not offer us jobs. Closing and protecting the border should be first and foremost. Second, offer permits to work on a limited basis for demand. And under no circumstances offer amnesty or there will be a run for that border not witnessed in any of our lifetimes. There is a war going on now and there are bullet holes now in the courthouse of El Paso that came from on the other side. But Obama knows this and he loves chaos. Maybe that is what he wants.

Posted by: greatgran1 | August 6, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Jmacaco4 wrote:

Ezra thinks everyone who disagrees with him is a racist.

According to the JournOlist blog, they don't have to think you are a racist, they don't care. Simply disagree with them and they will call you a racist.

Posted by: dcharlson | August 6, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: lennybeachboy999 | August 6, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Economic stress always causes resentment against outsiders. In the 1930's, unwanted immigrants were called Okies.

Posted by: richsiegel | August 6, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The truth that the racists can't handle is that immigrants, both legal and illegal, have been and continue to be an economic boon for this country. The numbers quoted by some about the social costs of illegal immigrants are wildly exagerated. Most of them actually go without healthcare and pay taxes without every getting a return on them. What part of illegal did the racists' ancestors not understand when they came and murdered the natives and stole their land. At least today's immigrants are more likely to just steal and marry your daughters. That's what they're really afraid of.

Posted by: BigHec | August 9, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

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