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Does Low-Skilled Immigration Hurt the U.S. Economy? Assessing the Evidence

Event
January 13, 2011

Migration Policy Institute

Does Low-Skilled Immigration Hurt the U.S. Economy? Assessing the Evidence

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Speakers: 

Harry Holzer, Professor, Georgetown Public Policy Institute

Demetrios G. Papademetriou, MPI President

Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies, and Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Institution

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of MPI’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program

Michael Fix, MPI Senior Vice President and Director of Studies

There is little debate over the contribution of highly skilled immigration to U.S. economic innovation and national competitiveness. However, there is far less consensus on the effects – positive and negative – of less-skilled immigration on the U.S. economy and American workers. Who are the winners and losers? Are the chief beneficiaries only the employers who utilize this labor? Do other Americans, particularly the economically disadvantaged, suffer? Do these immigrants take American jobs or contribute net benefits and expand the U.S. economy? How strong are our answers to these questions and what are the implications for policymakers who get imperfect information? In the newest report by the Migration Policy Institute’s Labor Markets Initiative, noted economist and Georgetown University Public Policy Institute Professor Harry J. Holzer (who was chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor) examines the economic reasoning and research on these questions and looks at the policy options that shape the impact of less-skilled immigration on the economy.

This discussion covers what policy reform would best serve native-born American workers, consumers, and employers, as well as the overall U.S. economy.

Registration deadline for this event has passed.