Gordon Hanson, Chen Liu, Craig McIntosh, 04 October 2017

Rising inequality and stagnating manufacturing wages have many in the Western world questioning whether immigration may be responsible. This column takes a close look at data for the US, and reveals that tighter immigration controls are unlikely to improve the fortunes of low-skilled workers. Long-term demographic changes in the Americas imply that the pressure from illegal immigrants on US labour markets is already abating and will continue to do so.

Giovanni Facchini, Cecilia Testa, 28 April 2011

Illegal immigration is widespread. In 2008, approximately 12 million immigrants lived unlawfully in the US alone. This column argues that illegal immigration is largely a tale of political failure. It shows that governments find it best to “talk tough but do nothing”. By imposing quotas but not effectively enforcing them they can mislead the public that want a limit on migration while appeasing those who want more migrants.

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