Clemens and Pritchett on the new economic case for migration restriction

by on February 13, 2016 at 12:01 am in Economics, Law, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

I haven’t read through this paper (pdf) yet, but it seems quite important and here is the abstract:

For decades, migration economics has stressed the effects of migration restrictions on income distribution in the host country. Recently the literature has taken a new direction by estimating the costs of migration restrictions to global economic efficiency. In contrast, a new strand of research posits that migration restrictions could be not only desirably redistributive, but in fact globally efficient. This is the new economic case for migration restrictions. The case rests on the possibility that without tight restrictions on migration, migrants from poor countries could transmit low productivity (“A” or Total Factor Productivity) to rich countries – offsetting efficiency gains from the spatial reallocation of labor from low to high-productivity places. We provide a novel assessment, proposing a simple model of dynamically efficient migration under productivity transmission and calibrating it with new macro and micro data. In this model, the case for efficiency-enhancing migration barriers rests on three parameters: transmission, the degree to which origin-country total factor productivity is embodied in migrants; assimilation, the degree to which migrants’ productivity determinants become like ‘natives’ over time in the host country; and congestion, the degree to which transmission and assimilation change at higher migrant stocks. On current evidence about the magnitudes of these parameters, dynamically efficient policy would not imply open borders but would imply relaxations on current restrictions. That is, the new efficiency case for some migration restrictions is empirically a case against the stringency of current restrictions.

If I am reading this correctly, the authors are considering moving away from their previous open borders position, simply to a “more immigration (within limits) would be better” position, much like the one I hold.

For the pointer I thank G.

Addendum: On Twitter, Michael says: “Thank you. View didn’t change: Trillion $ bills is comparative statics, need not imply ∞ adjustment speed. This paper dynamic.”

1 Steve Sailer February 13, 2016 at 12:11 am

Wouldn’t they have more credibility going forward if they apologized for supporting Open Borders in the past?

2 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 4:17 am

Would I take YOU more credibly if every piece you wrote was preceded by every position that is factually questionable, but which you currently of may have previously held?

Or should I use my own judgment in independently evaluating each thing you write?

Stroke of genius: I might be taken more credibly if I don’t list all my “transgressions”, professional mistakes, or reversals of opinion, before presenting a new argument.

3 GOD ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ February 13, 2016 at 7:48 am

aren’t you an academic? Well, then you have already lost all credibility. Academia is funded in large part by grants given by the upper class, plutocrats or corporations. Academia is thus a propaganda generation tool for the upper class, plutocrats or corporations.

Mass immigration increases diversity.

Diversity decreases shared common interests among the populace.

Diversity diffuses and weakens the expressed public opinion and will of the populace.

Because a diverse society has fewer shared common interests and has a diffused and weakened expressed public opinion and will, such a society is less able to elect politicians who can represent the interests of the population.

Thus, as diversity increases, voter control over the government decreases.

Because a diverse society has less control over the government, the upper class, plutocrats or corporations have more control.

Thus, diverse nations are not as good as more homogeneous nations.

4 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

In short, I think this logic seems obvious if you’re racist, merely plausible for some cases if you’re not (very racist), and possibly irrelevant for the case of zero racism. And by zero racism, this must be inclusive of the incoming group not having issues with the native group.

5 GOD ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ February 13, 2016 at 9:48 am

so what if I am racist?

6 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Newcomers could easily succeed and better contribute to the wellbeing of everyone if it weren’t for racist. That’s the so what of it.

In other words, you are the problem, not the immigrants.

But at least you’re not in denial.

7 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Perhaps then you can explain the relative success of Asian immigrants

8 John February 13, 2016 at 4:53 pm

“this logic seems obvious if you’re racist”

This logic seems obvious if you know how the world works and how to protect your evolutionary interests.

But, of course, the subhuman Nathan W cuck does not understand that.

9 GOD ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ February 13, 2016 at 5:06 pm

nathan wrote:
Newcomers could easily succeed and better contribute to the wellbeing of everyone if it weren’t for racist. That’s the so what of it.
In other words, you are the problem, not the immigrants.
But at least you’re not in denial.
========================

the invaders must be expelled, and their elite collaborators must be punished with the traditional punishment for treason.

I have spoken!

10 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

“Perhaps then you can explain the relative success of Asian immigrants”

They have a good work ethic in school, this carries over into work. Probably mostly related to parents and culture.

“This logic seems obvious if you know how the world works and how to protect your evolutionary interests.”

Seriously? Can we not accept the global population as the existing gene pool, and not worry so much about how those existing genes are moved around?

I mean, the point itself is not racist, but if the notion of a world of mongerls scares you, it’s hard to imagine that you’re not at least just a bit. Unsettling for a moment? Sure. But the future always WAS going to be different, wasn’t it?

But here we have Mr Uncuckable himself, so what am I too say? I should probably become an extremist. It will make me happier, and women like to have sex and babies with happy people.

“the invaders must be expelled”

OK GOD. Let us know when you’ve booked your ticket, since the natives were here first.

11 King Cuck February 13, 2016 at 9:32 pm

John – It is possible to leave extremism.

Love is better than hate. I promise. Promise to smile at five people tomorrow.

Enjoy your ongoing uncuckability.

12 John February 14, 2016 at 11:10 am

“Can we not accept the global population as the existing gene pool, and not worry so much about how those existing genes are moved around?”

I don’t identify with the ‘global population’, whatever that means.
Also, how those genes move around determines the relative success of subgroups of them in the next generation(s). So, not, cuck, we cannot accept that.

13 Cliff February 15, 2016 at 11:46 am

Nathan,

So in other words, according to you the problem is the immigrants, not “us”. Seems like you have contradicted yourself in consecutive posts.

14 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

Pre-discreditng anything said by broad segments of society?

Yes, there is clearly value in discussing anything with you.

Well, why not …. here goes.

Diversity is not a problem unless you’re racist. Because non-racist people don’t have trust problems with people over skin colour or choice of head gear.

But set up the model right, and no doubt, the fact of racism will tell you precisely what you said: immigration reduces trust and a lack of homogeneity makes government less representative. (Question though – since when was homogeneity ever a desired aspect or outcome of democracy? Is democracy not precisely designed to promote, or at least accomodate, various forms of diversity?) – however, and this is important, the fact that racism would almost certainly lead to such a result, does NOT imply that such a result if proof that racism is having that effect in the given context.

My conclusion is that diversity is a tough sell in the presence of racism, but that the essentially infinite possibilities of democratic systems suggests that it will always be possible to have representation, diversity and quality government all at the same time.

But if you’re racist, you probably hate the idea that this is even possible.

Ever heard of Canada? I’m sure an awful lot of racists would just LOVE to sabotage the fact that diversity is actually working quite well here … since the counterexample suggests that the problem is just as likely to be the racist folks who lived there first, and not the dirty brown people who came later (and before, natives, but I’m not talking about natives here).

15 Lukas H. February 13, 2016 at 9:16 am

Diversity is only important to people if they are racist.

Non-racist people dont care about the color of your skin or choice of head-gear, so it is not important for them to have diversity.

16 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm

Lukas – you would have to redefine racism first.

17 roadrunner February 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm

What if the immigrants are racist and we aren’t, is that a problem

18 TMC February 13, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Nathan, you’d only need revert the definition back to its original form.

Your comment smacks of only white people can be racist.

19 John February 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

“unless you’re racist. Because non-racist people don’t have trust problems with people over skin colour or choice of head gear. ”

Yeah, right, according to the subhuman Nathan W cuck, racism isn’t an ingrained, evolved, adaptive human trait. Also, they are no behavioral (genetically predisposed) differences between ethnic groups despite all the statistics very clearly pointing otherwise. #CuckLife

20 So Much For Subtlety February 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

Diversity is not a problem unless you’re racist. Because non-racist people don’t have trust problems with people over skin colour or choice of head gear.

That is not true actually. Diversity is a problem and it needs to be navigated regardless of what you think about race. When you are dealing with people of a similar culture or a similar background, you can work with similar assumptions. That does not work when you deal with people from very different backgrounds. You can never know what is acceptable or what is not. You might get fired for saying “niggardly” for instance.

(Question though – since when was homogeneity ever a desired aspect or outcome of democracy? Is democracy not precisely designed to promote, or at least accomodate, various forms of diversity?)

It beats civil war, and no, it was not.

but that the essentially infinite possibilities of democratic systems suggests that it will always be possible to have representation, diversity and quality government all at the same time.

So this is a theological statement about your fundamental religious beliefs and not a comment about reality? The fact that nowhere in the world has managed to have representation, diversity and quality government (or even an absence of civil war) does not dissuade you of this at all?

Ever heard of Canada? I’m sure an awful lot of racists would just LOVE to sabotage the fact that diversity is actually working quite well here

Let’s ask the First Nations how well diversity is working for them shall we? How about the people of Quebec? Canada is an experiment. It has only been running for thirty years. It has only become suicidal more recently than that. But what has Canada got out of it? Well they just released the Sikh bomber who blew up that Air India Flight. I am sure the relatives of all the passengers appreciate the diversity. They have drug gangs fighting in Vancouver. And they had teenagers in Guantanamo.

Doesn’t look like it is working to me. But come back in another thirty years.

Canada worked when it was a White Anglo-Saxon country. But Canada is determined to embrace a Third World future so it will not work for long.

21 King Cuck February 13, 2016 at 9:39 pm

roadrunner – “What if the immigrants are racist and we aren’t, is that a problem”

Yes, I wonder about that. Like when white people move to China for work and are racist. The economic aspects must still be positive, I would assume.

“Your comment smacks of only white people can be racist.”

Racism is a belief that one group is superior to another. Not the question of whether or not they think race should be open for discussion or whether specific groups might be expected to advocate for their own specific group interest.

What I think is mistaken for racism among minorities is just hate. They don’t have any sort of systematic view of who’s better, they just hate whites/hispanics or what have you due to experience in being systematically mistreated by individual members of those other groups.

22 Cliff February 15, 2016 at 11:48 am

By your definition, racism is common among Asians. Does the hate result from actual mistreatmet?? Or BLM people blowing up their twitter about systemic oppression while the waltz into Harvard?

23 Bob McGrew February 13, 2016 at 12:31 am

I prefer “libertarianism by gradient ascent”. That is, let’s move in the direction of greater liberty, but let’s take small steps and reassess whether we are moving in the right direction each time.

24 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 4:18 am

Sounds sensible, but I don’t there there’s enough doctrinal rigidity that could come from such an approach as to justify the “ism”.

25 Harun February 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Fabian Libertarianism.

There, I named it.

26 wiki February 13, 2016 at 12:32 am

For academics, this is a pretty serious apology already. How many other scholars are so willing to publish papers on an important and inflammatory issue that concedes that their earlier case — which they believed in wholeheartedly and deeply — is demonstrably false?

27 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 10:58 am

Agreed, taken in that light this paper would be highly unusual.

28 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:29 pm

Apparently from their Tweet they don’t think so. By the way, how terrible is Twitter. I hope it completely fails and goes bankrupt.

29 Jamie_NYC February 13, 2016 at 2:20 pm

“How bad is Twitter” – not to read too much into it, but: I don’t use it much, following maybe five people, one of them is Trump. Twitter’s suggestion on whom else to follow: Barack Obama!

30 Just Saying February 13, 2016 at 12:38 am

I appreciate their bravery. About time we stopped with the PC “Everyone, get in here!” approach to immigration.

31 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 4:45 am

Aside from a handful of whacky professors here and there, who’s seriously discussing open borders?

Anyone?

While opposition to strong anti-immigration sentiment seems PC these days, it does not follow that there is some broad movement connected to PC speech which endorses open borders.

Open borders is one of those subjects where a lot of people start getting ridiculously irrational in trying to come up with whatever straw they can grasp, especially on the anti side. I always say the same thing. Even though it’s a really nice ideal and I hope the world can be like that some day, in the present context there are actually some really good reason to oppose open borders without exposing yourself as a racist xenophobe. But …. they mostly involve seeing the good side in other things which right wing ideologues are allergic to.

32 DJF February 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

“””Aside from a handful of whacky professors here and there, who’s seriously discussing open borders? “””

There are plenty of people pushing more immigration, amnesty pushers, refugee pushers, H1b pushers, etc etc. They want more and when they get more they demand even more on top of what they have already gotten. Individually they don’t say open borders, but the combined effect is open borders

33 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

Truish. But none of the groups you referred to are asking for open borders.

Quite a lot of people, when they say they want A, they actually just want A. The principle of refusing A just in case they later ask for B is stupid. Applying such logic regularly would mean that no thing could be done ever, since everyone would always justify inaction on the basis that coming to any agreement with anyone any time was just setting the stages for the counterparty to ask for even more.

34 DJF February 13, 2016 at 9:28 am

“”””The principle of refusing A just in case they later ask for B is stupid.”””

What is stupid is agreeing to something in the hope that it will be the end of the discussion when in fact will be just be the beginning of a long series of bigger and bigger demands.

Show me any of those advocating more immigration who will be satisfied with any agreement which is in effect not open borders. Will the amnesty pushers stop, they did not stop after the Reagan amnesty. Will the H1b pushers, they get bigger numbers and they demand more. Will the refugee pushers stop, they can always find someone to fill the bigger quotas.

Sorry but I am old enough to remember the old advocates of increasing immigration and none of them have said that enough is enough.

35 Kris February 13, 2016 at 10:08 am

@DJF:

What is stupid is agreeing to something in the hope that it will be the end of the discussion

That’s a bad reason to agree to something. You agree if and only if that “thing” is a positive in your opinion. If more people share your views than oppose it, you win. Otherwise just consider yourself outvoted and move on.

H1B quotas have not moved up since the turn of the century (it increased to 195k/year at the height of the Y2K scare, and then went down to 65k + 20k in 2003.) There was never any provision in the H1B law that indicated that it was supposed to stop after a particular year, so if you are complaining about increasing numbers rather than increasing quotas, then you evidently never read or understood the original legislation.

This applies to your comments on general immigration as well. For some reason, you thought that the original immigration legislation put an cap on absolute numbers when in reality it put a cap on the annual quotas. Te result, naturally, has been a steady increase in immigrants, H1Bs, etc from sources you don’t like over the past few decades, as intended and clearly stated in the legislation.

Don’t confuse your personal lack of comprehension with arbitrarily increasing demands on the part of your adversaries.

36 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

“If more people share your views than oppose it, you win. Otherwise just consider yourself outvoted and move on.”

That might be your opinion, but it’s certainly not the opinion of most other people. I highly doubt that you’ve never criticized a law or regulation that you disagreed with.

“H1B quotas have not moved up since the turn of the century”

Yes, but the quota has been expanded twice and there have been numerous pieces of legislation that have been proposed since the turn of the century.

“Will the H1b pushers, they get bigger numbers and they demand more.”

This is an accurate statement. You seem to imply that it is not.

“Don’t confuse your personal lack of comprehension with arbitrarily increasing demands on the part of your adversaries.”

The facts tend to indicate that you are just as confused.

“June 27, 2013 – Senate approves immigration bill with increased H-1B visas ”

http://www.cnet.com/news/senate-approves-immigration-bill-with-increased-h-1b-visas/

37 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 11:24 am

Yuck, sorry about the poor formatting. A lot is lost in translation, ie the Submit button, on this site.

38 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

Recognizing that debate on immigration and the proper level of taxes will be essentially eternal are not a very good reason to pre-refuse compromise as a matter of strategy. Why not? Because the other side is forced to do the same and nothing ever moves anywhere.

Unless perhaps insisting on abssurd demands is used as a strategy to uphold the status quo.

I understand the logic to what you’re saying. But I think you are making the following mistake. Having observed that someone gave in on something, you then observe that some people are still demanding more. But there are always some extremists. If the remainining 1% or 5% of extremists are still demanding more, this need not imply that the deal with the moderates was all in vain. After all, the moderates would be satiated then.

More accurately than saying ” in fact will be just be the beginning of a long series of bigger and bigger demands.” you should think of it that “there may be some outliers who wlil demand yet more”.

39 Kris February 13, 2016 at 1:03 pm

@JWatts:

“June 27, 2013 – Senate approves immigration bill with increased H-1B visas ”

You know that the Senate cannot unilaterally pass a law, right? The House voted it down, I believe multiple times. The annual H1B quota has not budged since 2003 (I don’t know what you are talking about when you say “the quota has been expanded twice“. Yes, tech businessmen have been constantly clamoring for an increase, but has it had any effect yet?

So my earlier criticism stands. Over the lifetime of the H1B visa, both those clamoring for increases and those clamoring for decreases (or thwarting increases) have had their successes. For half of that lifetime (2003-present), it’s always been the latter. It’s hardly been an unbroken series of victories for one side and concessions on the other, as you and DJF seem to think.

40 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

“For half of that lifetime (2003-present), it’s always been the latter. It’s hardly been an unbroken series of victories for one side and concessions on the other, as you and DJF seem to think.”

No one said that. You are arguing against a straw man.

41 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 1:36 pm

“Over the lifetime of the H1B visa, both those clamoring for increases and those clamoring for decreases (or thwarting increases) have had their successes. For half of that lifetime (2003-present), it’s always been the latter”.

Here’s some actual data on the program (new/initial H-1B visas issued by State Department):

2003 107,196

2014 162,239

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa#H-1B_visas_issued_per_year

42 asdf February 13, 2016 at 2:01 pm

The person who shares this blog with Tyler is pro-open borders. So are most of the Gmules, though a few may be changing their minds recently.

And of course there is this:
http://openborders.info

You don’t have to be formally open borders to be open borders. If you don’t do anything about illegal immigration and then have your once every twenty years amnesty, you are de facto open borders.

43 Harun February 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Open borders to me, would have been Europe last year.

But, a lot of the current system seems to be open borders, but with various bureaucratic mechanisms to slow it down.

44 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:50 am

Do they mean less restrictive than ACTUAL immigration policy as enforced, or less restrictive than the immigration law on the books (i.e. no illegals)? I certainly agree with the former but am not sure about the latter. I think we should move to a high immigration point system like Canada/Australia and end illegal immigration, not sure if that is consistent with what this (speculative) paper supports.

45 Ray Lopez February 13, 2016 at 12:52 am

Without reading the paper, it seems flawed since the data for immigrants is taken from current immigrants and somehow extrapolated for future immigrants. This is wrong, since “we all agree” that only the ‘best and brightest’ of immigrants come to the USA. So how to ‘extrapolate’ without introducing arbitrary priors?

46 Ray Lopez February 13, 2016 at 1:52 am

Don’t link to me man, you are personal non grata. Last time I replied to your post it was deleted. You are a pariah, E. Harding, hahaha.

47 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 4:52 am

A priori, the average quality of immigrants could hardly be higher if entry is less restricted. This seems absurdly common sensical, but a lot of breakthroughs in thought are like that. Indeed, the modelling is necessarily wrong for precisely that reason.

(Pointing out that I am able to immediately see the value of better methodology which is likely to provide evidence which is less favourable to the outcome that I prefer – freer movement of labour …)

Cue racists who can introduce strong faith in the domination of genetic determinism in consideration of the matter the matter.

48 Ray Lopez February 13, 2016 at 5:27 am

I agree in open borders, but your thesis seems to be that the most able travel. By that metric, the Conquistadors were able and worthy, while the convicts of Australia, who were involuntarily deported from England, were not (ditto the Marian boat-lift people from Cuba). May be some truth in that…after all, I voluntarily travel the world (my third country now outside the USA where I’ve lived more than a year, and I’m in the 1%, have a gf half my age, handsome man, etc etc etc).

49 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

Haha. I completely fail to see the relation between anything you said and anything I said.

Since I’m from Canada, I base my thinking on actual immigrants as “most able to pass the points system” and easing up as “making the points system easier to pass”. This may be relevant in correctly ascertaining what the intended meaning of the communication.

50 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm

You’re not in the 1%. Your family is. Hope they leave you some money when they die and support your chicken farming lifestyle.

51 msgkings February 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm

You always go on about yourself but you never acknowledge that I am in fact far more handsome than you, that I am in the 0.1%, and that my girlfriend is 1/4 my age, and I pay her family far less for her company. So, checkmate.

52 Hiram Abiff February 13, 2016 at 2:43 am

“That is, the new efficiency case for some migration restrictions is empirically a case against the stringency of current restrictions.”

I think what people don’t understand is that what they mean by “relaxing immigration restrictions” is not “increasing the number of H-1B visas granted”, it’s a massive liberalization of the international market for unskilled labor. If Clemens and Pritchett redacted 50% of their earlier conclusions, which they do not, they’d still be advocating for a epochal change in immigration policy totally outside the realm of political discourse. I’m not sure exactly what Tyler’s position on immigration is, but it seems that Clemens and Pritchett’s work would reasonably lead one to propose open borders with several Latin American nations as a starting point. Seems like the easiest way to increase human well being and economic output through public policy to me.

53 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:34 pm

The problem is that to me it “Seems like the easiest way to destroy this nation and ultimately crater human well being and economic output through public policy”

After all people are fungible and only geography matters, so I’m sure the U.S. and the world would be just as productive and wealthy and have just as good political institutions if Europeans had never come to these shores. Is that your thought?

54 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 4:58 am

I think some people here don’t really get how academic publishing works.

Academics don’t rip themselves to shreds prior to writing their new results. Each paper is its own entity. While a paper may well be viewed as a part of an author’s broader works, any academic work should be able to stand alone on its own merits, and should not be linked to previous work of the author unless this contributes to the objectives of the paper.

It is perfectly acceptable to produce results using one method, which do not agree with the outcomes using a different method, without requiring that the authors beat themselves up for having previous used some other method which did not achieve the same results.

Academics is rarely concerned about whether different methods reach different results. This is expected. However, if different results were obtained using the SAME methods, this would be very noteworthy. Also, if the same results are found using different methods, this is very noteworthy.

It seems that some folks are emotionally against open borders, and wish for anyone who ever drew any result which might have been sympathetic to open borders to be maximally self critical for their previous transgressions.

55 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

“Academics is rarely concerned about whether different methods reach different results.”

The rationalization is strong with this one. Academics don’t care about ultimate truth?

56 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Are you intentionally misunderstanding me again?

Let me rephrase. If one is interested in “utltimate truths” one is not going to spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that results are different if the methods are also different.

Having observed that different methods reach different results, a researcher may conclude that this is not remarkable. However, if they use different methods and find that the results are still the same, then this is very remarkable.

57 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm

You have no clue what you are talking about.

“If one is interested in “utltimate truths” one is not going to spend a lot of time thinking about the fact that results are different if the methods are also different.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is exactly what academics spend their time thinking about.

58 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm

On second thought, we’re both being dumb here.

We’re both saying something like “no no no all researchers prefer similar ways of exploring methodologies and relevance, and moreover that the same thing holds for what is most appropriate considering actual research problems.” Argue either side staunchly and you’re being dumb.

I can try to explain the perspective again. In a single paper, you might find many methods and discussion of different method. But in most cases this is not because they are concerned about the differences in outputs themselves, but rather they are looking for hints that these differences will help guide them towards the best methodology.

However, in areas of research where it is so hard to find a good methodology, if you have the word “ultimate truths” kicking around in your head, you’re bound to find yourself running around proclaiming some very absurd research with extreme certainty some day down the road.

We’re not talking organic chemistry here are we? Or the conversation would be entirely different. I’m thinking social sciences, notably economics.

59 anon February 13, 2016 at 12:55 pm

“It is perfectly acceptable to produce results using one method, which do not agree with the outcomes using a different method”

Exactly! The strategy must shift when confronted with new political realities. The authors realized that open borders are a lost cause in today’s political environment, so it’s time to cut losses and come up with a new conclusion-driven research method. When the time is right again, they can reverse their position once again.

60 S February 13, 2016 at 5:20 am

So would the economese to low English translation be “More Indians, fewer Mexicans”?

61 Dots February 13, 2016 at 5:23 am

1. A large part of the US was Mexican, recently
2. That part is largely populated by Hispanic people, next to Mexico
3. Race is salient in US politics
4. New nation states bubble all the time, untidily
5. multinational republics seem to have major political parties formed around national loyalties
6. whites r already bugging about Hispanic immigration

Seems safe to b cautious with Hispanic inflows while they assimilate/disperse into the North. they may congest, sometime
E Asians, Indians, English-speaking Africans, Canadians, Europeans, Russians welcome

62 Art Deco February 13, 2016 at 12:37 pm

A large part of the US was Mexican, recently

No, it was not. The international frontier was located in a particular place from 1821 to 1848. That’s a diplomatic fiction. Those zones were quite sparsely populated in that era and the bulk of those living there were aboriginals without much more affinity for the population of Mexico than for the population of the United States. The total population of Mexican peninsulares, criollos, mestizos and mission Indians in California, New Mexico, and Texas was in five digits. They were outnumbered in certain loci by Anglophones from the United States and Canada. There were little dorps of settlement. There was little or nothing in the way of a Mexican society.

63 Dots February 13, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Those are interesting facts, thank you. I had to look up ‘dorps’ 🙂

Many people today believe in that diplomatic fiction, and believe that a war and invasion were required to revise it.

64 Michael Haltman February 13, 2016 at 6:38 am

My thoughts on migration and the global economy this morning:

Are The EU PIIGS About To Start Squealing?

As the migrant crisis in Europe worsens serious steps to address it are being considered.

One proposal is for passports to be required in order to cross from one EU country to another.

Would such a drastic move spell the beginning of the end for the Eurozone as a viable entity?

And if so what will happen to the piles of sovereign debt that’s been issued by the economically vulnerable EU PIIGS, and to the investors who have been pouring money into them at what appear to be ridiculously low yields?

Read the story and check out the historical yield chart at the article ‘EU PIIGS: Are These 10-Year Sovereign Bond Yields Either Warranted Or Sustainable?’ here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/eu-piigs-10-year-sovereign-bond-yields-either-michael-haltman?trk=prof-post

Mike

65 rayward February 13, 2016 at 7:04 am

Migration restrictions adopted in the U.S. in the 1920s are (partly) credited (blamed?) for the reduction in inequality that followed in the succeeding decades. But enough about me, what about you: rather than the host country with immigration restrictions, what about the country from whence they come: what are the economic consequences to those countries. Of course, there’s the brain drain. But what about the emigration of technology and capital to those countries, what are the economic consequences to the importing country and to the exporting country: if balanced out, is there a net gain or a net loss in global productivity and economic growth. It’s conventional wisdom that there’s a net gain: look no further than the China miracle. But is the conventional wisdom based on too short a time frame, too much of a focus on the consequences to the importing country without an assessment of the negative consequences to the exporting country. Historically, resource rich countries exported the resources to the technology rich countries where technology was combined with production. More recently, technology is exported from technology rich countries to resource rich countries where the technology is combined with production. Of course, the problem with this arrangement in the technology rich country is that not everyone specializes in technology. Is it even feasible that one country, the U.S., can be solely a technology country, one big Silicon Valley? Many (those in Silicon Valley) might answer yes. To them, immigration restrictions would be limited to the unskilled and lifted for the skilled. Rather than the U.S.A., we’d be the U.S.T., the T for technology.

66 Bill February 13, 2016 at 7:40 am

I haven’t read the paper,

But,

I have an opinion.

67 Nick Rowe February 13, 2016 at 8:05 am

It’s a great paper, but: “We seek the migration rate m that maximizes global production.”

Who’s “we”? And why should “we” want to do that? And why shouldn’t “we” charge a price for doing that? *Sell* visas, in other words. Countries are club goods, and club goods should not be priced at zero.

68 chuck martel February 13, 2016 at 8:46 am

Who does the selling and gets the money?

69 Nick Rowe February 13, 2016 at 8:53 am

I *think* their model implies it should be workers in the high TFP countries. It’s a sort of Kiplinesque “Take up the white workers’ burden!” model.

I’m trying to figure out if their model is reversible. Whether imperialism/colonialism would have exactly the same beneficial effects as immigration, according to their model.

70 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 9:04 am

We. Like if there is a team of people doing something, likely writing a paper, you say “we” when you describe what the team is doing. Have you ever read an academic paper before? This is extremely common.

71 Lukas H. February 13, 2016 at 9:23 am

OMG
Could you pretend to be any more stupid?

The “we” are searching for the “m” – what do you think happens when they are going to recommend the right immigration policy?

72 Nick Rowe February 13, 2016 at 9:38 am

Nathan: yes, I know they mean “we the authors”. (I’m not a thickie.) But it is not in the interest of the Home country in their model to choose m to maximise global production. I *think* the Home country would want to maximise income per person in the Home country, which I think means setting m=0. Unless immigrants paid the Home country for visas.

BTW, I agree with your comment above about it being OK for economists to try out different models with different conclusions. And it’s good to see them incorporating criticisms of their earlier position in their new model. But from the natives’ point of view, the model in this paper makes a strong case for closed borders!

73 Cliff February 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Also when considering their strong bias and the effect that has on social science results, you have to assume the same effort made by someone on the opposite side of the argument would have a conclusion in favor of much greater migration restriction

74 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Sorry. I thought you were offended that the authors would presume to speak for you (we), not that you were questioning the stated objective in the equation.

75 BC February 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm

A good sanity check on any immigration argument would be to apply it to state and local borders. There are significant productivity differences between the poorest rural areas and urban neighborhoods compared to the highest productivity urban and suburban neighborhoods, and even between high productivity states and low productivity states. What would the model in the paper suggest as the optimal migration restrictions or even reallocations (reversing earlier migration) with respect to state and local borders? Would our national GDP be higher or lower with migration restrictions across state and local borders?

76 asdf February 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Nathan wants a universalist libertarian paradise where the holy spirit of the constitution allows us to treat every human being like a blank slate that has impartial and just procedure applied to him/her. Even if you take immigration out of it, Steve Sailer’s “citizenist” perspective is basically the same thing.

This comment from another person dealt with affirmative action for women in tech, but you could use it for race or anything else. The more important point is presenting the idea that there is no such thing as a fair an impartial process applied to all people equally. This was only ever a myth and goal partially achieved in Anglo cultures. As societies become more diverse it becomes more and more impossible to realize, because in diverse societies people don’t have enough in common to put their trust in abstract concepts. Everything goes back to blood (see World on Fire by Amy Chua, diversity and social trust by Putnam, etc) and people revert to the clannish norms that most of humanity functioned on for most of human history.

Fundamentally it’s pretty hard to convince women to enroll in and stay in CS programs. You have to convince them that it will both make them hotter and that it’ll help them produce pretty things. Most of the time software is number-language gibberish that is constantly breaking. It also involves arguing a lot with computermen about the best way to structure the imaginary machine, which probably takes up more time in most offices than the actual code writing does.

In the Sailerverse, the Solution would be to let exams do all the decision-making so that we could all enjoy 1955 dork utopia for all time in which well-compensated whitebreads could tinker with their ham radios and muscle cars in their off-hours. This was tried, and the dorks were easily intimidated into rigging exams by a motley crew of immigrants supported by dark-colored auxiliaries. It was so easy and cheap to run the campus revolutions that you would have to be obnoxiously stupid not to do it.

The same crew endlessly whines about how those nasty, nasty people cheat on all the precious exams and get positions to which their objective, Scientific intellectual quotient score says that they are unqualified for.

The thing is that the women don’t really want the work, but they want the incomes that go with the work. They want someone else to do the work and someone else to provide the income. This requires convincing some group of people to provide the muscle to force some people to do the work and others to receive the incomes for that work. The state is happy to do the forcing, but there are ever diminishing groups of people willing to do that work for reduced incomes which are supposed to be embezzled to various client populations. You can’t give golden eggs to your clients if you keep killing all the golden geese or selling them to Chinese farmers in order to pay down your debts.

But the problem doesn’t derive from all those mean people who cheat on the exams, but the brittleness that comes from an honorless culture in which no one has a terribly strong incentive to preserve the sacred Objective Scientific Testing Structure over the long term. There seems to be an implicit idea that the law is a self-maintaining robotic autonomous apparatus, and that when people use force to pervert the law, they are somehow cheating at it. Instead we should acknowledge that law can’t be separated from the people making and enforcing those laws — that Constitutions are not like eternal holy spirits, and that the people using the force are the ones who are deciding what the law is.

From the democratic-citizenist perspective, that’s troublesome. People with that perspective like to believe that the constitution is a free lunch and that they just have to proclaim their belief in it in order for it to be served to them. Instead there is no constitution, there is no government of laws, and the notion that scattered, uncoordinated men can preserve such a government of laws independent of their own interests is totally delusional.

Among animals, we can see that pecking orders are decided by force. It’s basically the same among people — when positions are granted on other grounds, such as excellence in accountancy opening up better accounting jobs, it’s only when the sovereign decides to permit it to happen naturally. In most cases, in most societies, the plush jobs get assigned fecklessly based on the whims of the powerful.

77 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 10:25 pm

There is middle ground between pure genetic determinism and blank slaters. It is where most people reside. Keep in mind that the structure of the regression in most related studies implies a maximum bound on the genetic effect, which they falsely claim to be the effect itself.

The rest is an interesting story. But I don’t believe much of it.

I’m especially shocked that intelligent people can be led to believe that such a narrow test as an IQ test can actually a broad indication of intelligence in general. It might be better than some others, but your outlook seems to be similar to those where you perceive the worth and ability of a person as a direct and liner result of IQ, to the exclusion of basically all other factors. it doesn’t stun me that much that you think the IQ test can be strongly predictive, say, but to the point of disregarding other things than any lower level manager will emphasize as the most very important things they need of their workers. Like … have folks who think this ever held a real job in a company with more than 5 people?

I agree with your basic statement about constitutions. But I shudder to think what you would do to it if set up as dictator prior to the next Republic.

“Among animals, we can see that pecking orders are decided by force.”

a) Not so in all species.
b) The fact of observing this in some animal species is not evidence that we should desire this in human society. Emphasis on society.

78 jorod February 13, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Just increase taxes. People will be too poor to move anywhere.

79 Harun February 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

I think I would be more open to additional immigration if both US political parties were anti-identity politics.

But they are not. One party is very enthusiastic about identity politics and making sure ethnic groups vote in blocs for the “authentic” candidates of their party only.

No Thanks. I don’t want Hutus and Tutsi identity politics.

If those on the left truly want open borders, I’d suggest they drop the identity politics as a political stick.

Just a for example: would it be totally impossible for the left-leaning MSM to give some slight praise to GOP candidates who are also “breaking racial barriers?”

OK, okay, that is just crazy talk. How about silence? Just be silent on the “authenticity” of Jindal, Haley, Cruz, Rubio, Sandoval, Martinez, etc. Did I miss any?

I swear, looking at that list, its amazing how conflicted Democrats must be. The south is electing brown people, but its a terrible burden to them politically, so they must claim in-authenticity.

80 The Anti-Gnostic February 13, 2016 at 4:20 pm

The US imports 1M people per year. By law, they must be “diverse.” Identity politics is the only way this ends. And that is why the Trump campaign has the Establishment so unhinged: whites are adopting the identity politics of their ethnic rivals.

81 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 4:44 pm

The article from Vox (yeah I know) supports this contention.

But RealClearPolitics’ Sean Trende offered a different diagnosis: Romney’s real problem was “missing” white voters who didn’t show up to vote. …The “missing” whites were largely Northern, largely secular working-class whites. Those voters are no longer missing. Trump has found them.”

http://www.vox.com/2016/2/9/10940008/donald-trump-polls-maps-charts

82 JWatts February 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm

Also,

“Trump’s supporters are making this subtext into text. Trump is practicing white identity politics”

83 Nathan W February 13, 2016 at 10:33 pm

” Identity politics is the only way this ends.”

Not if the incomers are comprised of sufficient diversity of people.

Import 1M Chinese a year and in 50 years to have a potentially very large and important Chinese bloc among voters.

Import 1M across many dozens of countries, and no single group will important enough among newcomers as to be a particularly relevant group for electoral purposes, which makes it very natural for them to instead seek just whichever existing political party suits their values and interests best.

84 The Anti-Gnostic February 14, 2016 at 3:04 am

This is hilarious. Sounds like a great formula for a hopelessly divided and bribed electorate, perennially unable to check overweening government. Kind of what the US is approaching now. Or Italy. Do the immigration commissars monitor the birthrates as well, and import more foreigners to keep the mix right?

Anywhere this grand experiment in ethnic plurality has succeeded? The Roman Empire? Austro-Hungarian Empire? Yugoslavia? Iraq? Syria? Czechoslovakia? Cyprus?

85 Bert February 14, 2016 at 5:54 am

Go easy on Nathan. He’s a Canadian and thus very simple by nature, so deep and potentially dangerous thinking is completely beyond his cognitive capabilities.

86 Floccina February 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

http://un-thought.blogspot.com/2016/01/immigration.html
BUT seeing that:

There is a large percent of voters who are anti-immigration and a larger percent who are against illegal immigration.
It seems absurd to have a law that you have no intention of enforcing.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off than those who would have wanted to come but did not come because they did not want to come illegally.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to earn more money than those in Mexico.
The illegal immigrants who have been here the longest are better off because they have had a chance to learn some English which might help them get a better job in Mexico.

So suppose we deport illegal immigrants starting with those who have been here the longest and for each one deported we let in a person from the queue. Or maybe we let in two people from the queue for each illegal deported.

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