Paul Collier’s *Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World*

by on April 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm in Books, Law | Permalink

It comes out October 1, and here is from the back cover:

…bestselling author Paul Collier makes a powerful case for the ethical legitimacy of restricting migration in the interests of both sending and receiving societies. Drawing on original research and numerous case studies, Collier explores this volatile issue from three unique perspectives: the migrants themselves, the people they leave behind, and the host societies where they relocate. As Collier shows, those who migrate from the poorest countries, primarily though not exclusive the young, tend to be the best educated and most energetic in their cultures. And while migrants often benefit economically, the larger impacts of mass migrations remain unsettling. The danger is that both host countries and sending societies may lose their national identities– an outcome that Collier suggests would be disastrous as national identity is a powerful force for equity. Collier asserts that migration must be restricted to ensure that it helps those who remain in sending countries and also benefits host societies that make the investment on which migrant gains rely.

The comment section is open, but I’m not going to read them.

Pincher Martin April 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm

“The comment section is open, but I’m not going to read them.”

Hahahaha !

andrewo April 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Bizarre as it is, I’m reading the comments on MR for the first time, and only because of that remark.

lords of lies April 26, 2013 at 12:24 am

The comment section is open, but I’m not going to read them.

excellent. in that case…

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when the homo economicus is away…..

prior_approval April 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

According to Alexa traffic stats, most of the visitors to this blog don’t read the comments either.

prior_approval April 25, 2013 at 10:38 pm

And one can hope that a link is helpful looking at the most basic metrics – http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/marginalrevolution.com

Ignacio April 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Yes, that last remark is disappointing. One would imagine that Tyler would be more open minded (although I also disagree with the premise of the book).

Therapsid April 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm

He’s not. His mind is closed. He’s decided long ago to disparage a huge proportion of America as ZMP’s while simultaneously advocating for an infusion of low-skill workers from abroad.

Andrew' April 26, 2013 at 8:38 am

Those aren’t necessarily inconsistent from an unorthodox perspective. I think corporations and possibly a large portion of the formal economy are due to regulatory arbitrage. So, when the balance shifts toward putting additional costs on formal employment (e.g. Obamacare) there is a shift in the driving force towards the informal economy. Were I an economist I would have incentive to mathematize this, publish and get paid.

cpk April 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm

He’s not going to read it, but I am going to psychoanalyze him anyway.

What Tyler Cowen believes, a summary: Unemployment doles and welfare are bad because they make people lazy. But guaranteed employment is bad because people with “bad attitudes” (that is, insufficiently obsequious towards The Bosses) are ZMP. And if you don’t like the immiseration imposed upon you by Cowan’s political allies, you can leave–OH WAIT NO YOU CAN’T, because GETTING away from the Tyler Cowans of your culture is apparently harmful, too, so, no, sorry, you have to stay.

LOL raised to the tenth power of LOL.

Ray Lopez April 26, 2013 at 1:29 am

“OH WAIT NO YOU CAN’T, because GETTING away from the Tyler Cowans of your culture is apparently harmful, too, so, no, sorry, you have to stay” – just curious, but can you point to a blog post where TC advocates against the Tiebout thesis, that is, you should not be allowed to emigrate from the USA? I doubt he said that.

Dismalist April 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Anybody out there in the US of A who is not an immigrant?

More important, there’s Tiebout: Let’s keep those klepto entities, called countries, on their toes.

Neal April 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm
JWatts April 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

Think about that XKCD for a minute. I’m not sure it actually sends the message most people read into it at first glance.

Cherokee’s didn’t insist that the European colonists assimilate into Cherokee culture. It didn’t turn out well for them. Their language and culture is for the most part a historical artifact. So maybe the guy demanding immigrants assimilate has a point after all?

It comes down to the point, Is America a melting pot? Or is it a multicultural society? Granted it will never be at one extreme or another, but which direction it leans may well be important in the long run.

The Amti-Gnostic April 25, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Abolish the nation-state. Return immigration to a private property regime of owners, tenants and trespassers.

Then we find out who the real libertarians are.

Dismalist April 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Touchy, touchy! :-)

Andrew' April 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

“Abolish the nation-state. Return immigration to a private property regime of owners, tenants and trespassers. Then we find out who the real libertarians are.”

What does that mean? Make roads toll roads and all of a sudden you want as many people using them as possible. Everywhere I go looking for hospitality it is mostly at private businesses. Go to a public park and the bathrooms are shite and there is a sign as tall as I am of all the rules, not to mention there is nothing there but what God put there. Fix the entitlement and cash transfer programs that immigrants didn’t break in the first place and there is basically no problem. That is to say, there are plenty of problems associated with immigration, but very few of them are due to immigrants. And those would be trivial to fix.

The Anti-Gnostic April 26, 2013 at 9:07 am

Right. That’s why Harvard takes everyone with a pulse. That’s why white neighborhoods don’t cost more. That’s why Tom Flat-earth Friedman rents out all the spare rooms and vacant land on his Bethesda manor. That’s why resorts price according to each customer’s ability to pay.

The current immigration scheme is a tragedy of the commons as you seem to recognize, and good luck reforming the welfare-warfare state when it can always just import new constituents.

Therapsid April 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Anybody out there in the US of A who hasn’t been born?

Let’s go ahead and approve an endless stream of births and exponential population growth out of a sense of moral consistency. After all, who are we, the privileged born, to deprive the yet conceived of their potential existences?

8 April 26, 2013 at 1:38 am

I’m all for secession, but the Feds do not allow that exit strategy. It is tough to relocate 30 million people.

Tim April 26, 2013 at 4:51 am

Being born is non-consensual. Migration is consensual.

I find it funny how many people here are butthurt that TC doesn’t read the comments. Apparently they think he owes them individual attention.

Anon. April 26, 2013 at 5:34 am

I fail to see your point. Increased wealth always leads to lower birth rates…

So Much For Subtlety April 26, 2013 at 3:58 am

Well a lot of people in the United States are not immigrants. They may be descended from immigrants, but if they were born in the US, they did not immigrate and hence are not immigrants.

What you miss is that many people may have moved to the geographical landmass that is now the United States of America. But the United States of America was and is a creation of a particular time and a particular culture. If immigrants move there and do not completely assimilate, the culture of that place changes and the United States of America ceases to be what it was. Maybe it becomes better in many ways. Maybe not. But change it does. Just ask the Cherokee.

Now this is a problem because so many of those immigrant cultures are dysfunctional. White Anglo-Saxon Protestants made the United States what it is. You can go to the North-East and see that as those WASPs get pushed out, those regions become less functional. The greater the cultural differences with those WASPs the greater the dysfunction. As in Detroit for instance. You can now go to California and see the same phenomenon.

So, no, not all immigrants are fungible.

farmer April 26, 2013 at 12:25 am

“collier” is an interesting last name when discussing immigration…. A certain MIT police officer named Collier might have had some interesting insight to the ethics of immigration, if some chechan welfare receiving immigrants hadn’t killed him last week

Quertus April 26, 2013 at 1:54 am

Yes… Collier is an interesting family name. It comes from English immigrants at best.

FC April 26, 2013 at 12:35 am

1. Well trolled, Cowen, well trolled.

2. Devising efficient exit taxes for lousy countries could be a lucrative new field for economists.

Paul Krugman April 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

My name is Paul Krugman and I approve this message.

(he he, I know how we can tell if TC is reading these comments).

JWatts April 26, 2013 at 10:25 am

You failed to insult anyone. So no, we know you aren’t the real PK.

Quertus April 26, 2013 at 1:47 am

Can’t believe how much bigotry there is in this supposedly academic blog. Now I completely understand why Tyler refuses to read the comments on this topic.

prior_approval April 26, 2013 at 2:19 am

And yet, this thread is lacking, particularly by MR standards (though give it time) in that aspect till now – maybe you are not a loyal reader?

Bruce Cleaver April 26, 2013 at 8:29 am

One man’s bigotry is another man’s empiricism.

spandrell April 26, 2013 at 3:12 am

Cheap chalupas >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> intellectual honesty

Handle April 26, 2013 at 6:27 am

Take a second and look at that last line from a Straussian, “exasemantic” perspective. What purposes does it serve for Cowen to put that line in there? He could always choose for himself not to read comments if he expects a post to attract low quality commentary, so why feel the need to announce it? Why make the post at all, for that matter? It would be as unfortunate to get accused of “ignoring / suppressing such an important new work!” as it would to take a stand about it, because the flame wars would never end.

Remember, he has multiple audiences. And he and Mankiw get to write in the NYT … for now. He frequently frustrates or infuriates his own friends with his mischief to preserve his intellectual defenses against direct lines of attack by avoiding getting pinned down to holding a specific position when it could get him in trouble. The usual suspects are already trying to leverage their dominance of the respectability institutions to erode his standing.

If you think this is “cowardly”, or if you don’t think “Persecution and the art of Writing” is relevant to our time, you haven’t been paying attention.

lords of lies April 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

TCCC has stated on multiple occasions and in multiple formats his agreement with open borders/human fungibility Cathedral tripe. Are we to take him at his word, or are we to suspect he believes something other than what he has more than insinuated he believes? Why do the dirty work for him?

I understand the feints and necessity of writing with squid ink so as to signal to the “respectability institutions” his loyalty to the Right Kind of White People, but I think you give him too much credit for playing a chess game ten moves ahead when the greater likelihood is that he is a cheap chalupa and gated community true believer with delusions of impartiality.

Handle April 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Lords of Lies, your point is valid, your reasoning masterful, and your writing style superb.

And, if I’m not mistaken, it is expressed in a recognizable voice. If so, sir, as a great admirer, epigone of, and gospel-spreading missionary for your prolific and peerless opus, I salute you! Excelsior!

I’m trying to get a DC-region anti-Cathedral club together, for erudite s**ts and giggles and enjoyable camaraderie. Obviously, we’d be honored with your presence. If you’re interested, or even if you have some advice, it will be well received at: Handle -at- multizionism -dot- com.

Slocum April 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

“As Collier shows, those who migrate from the poorest countries, primarily though not exclusive the young, tend to be the best educated and most energetic in their cultures. And while migrants often benefit economically, the larger impacts of mass migrations remain unsettling.”

The same bogus argument one often sees in the school choice debate — “We must force the smartest, most energetic families to remain in crappy schools/countries to their own detriment in order to marginally improve things for those who would otherwise be left behind without them.” I’m quite certain that TC does NOT endorse this position.

lords of lies April 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

in a country of 90% idiots and 10% smarties, is the country

a. worse off or

b. better off

if the 10% leave en masse?

Serious question. I think there might be exceptions to the obvious answer.

monkey_boy April 27, 2013 at 4:53 am

But given that they all move within the same planet, what difference does it make where exactly they live? (Not that I advocate that people should be prevented from moving off-planet. As a general rule, anyone should of course be allowed to occupy whatever coordinates he wants.)

ThomasH April 26, 2013 at 8:04 am

Decisions are made on the margin. Establishing that total unrestricted immigration is sub optimal is similar to establishing that autarchy is a sub-optimal trade policy. How much Collier’s arguments matter at time t and place P depends on how many immigrants P has recently received from where and how many and from where and with which characteristics it might receive more. I think the US in 2013 would do well to allow/attract lots more high-skilled immigrants which would come mainly from India and China. There might be a good argument for compensating some low income countries with few skilled persons for the expense of training.

Master of None April 26, 2013 at 8:53 am

The author presumes that people “owe” something to people left behind, or to the human phenomenon that we refer to as a “nation”.

Try this real-world example: Go to Egypt, and ask anyone in a coffee-shop if they would support a policy allowing immigration from the Gaza Strip. You will hear a unanimous chorus of “No”. How can we allow them to immigrate? They need to stay and fight the Zionists!

If we offered immigration to a single mother of 4, educated, but living in poverty conditions in Gaza, do you think she would say “No, I must stay and fight the Zionist. I must let my children die to right the wrongs of the past.”

Regardless of what you think her answer would be, don’t you think she deserves to make that choice herself?

Bob April 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

Uh, I would imagine the country she wants to immigrate to should have a say in the matter.

FC April 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm

“single mother of 4, educated, but living in poverty conditions in Gaza”

I wasn’t aware that Murphy Brown was a Palestinian name.

Steve Sailer April 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Other smart recent books on immigration from Britain include:

The Diversity Illusion: What We Got Wrong About Immigration & How to Set It Right [Paperback]
Ed West (Author)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Diversity-Illusion-Wrong-Immigration/dp/1908096055

The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-war Immigration [Hardcover]
David Goodhart (Author)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-British-Dream-Successes-Immigration/dp/1843548054/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y

Of course, Thilo Sarrazin’s book, which has sold 1,300,000 copies in Germany, has not been published in America even after a couple of years.

TR W April 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm

European and dispersion Europeans want to live in European civilizations. So do non-Europeans. It will never end as long as there are European people. East Asians even though they have materially matched European nations still bail out of East Asian society because they can’t create what Europeans can.

Nobody April 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

The borders are open, but I’m not going to live near them.

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