Immigration and the Maintenance of a Free Society

Estefanía Campos  | 20 de marzo de 2018  | Vistas: 4

In this opportunity, Benjamin Powell shares his research on immigration economics, to empirically fundament the real impact of immigration, since many scholars lately debate on the topic arguing the stealing of jobs or wage depression by immigrants.

Powell discusses Hayek’s position on the matter; he says free movement of people is ideal but he worries about the hostility of existing citizens in destinations countries. On the other hand, Mises worries immigrants will turn the machinery of the State against the native born population and make them less free for the benefit of the immigrants.

He later discusses “the new debate”, lead by Borjas, a Harvard economist who has talked about the negative impacts of immigration:

For immigration to generate substantial global gains, it must be the case that billions of immigrants can move to the industrialized economies without importing the bad institutions that led to poor economic conditions in the source countries in the first place. It seems inconceivable that the North’s infrastructure would remain unchanged after the admission of billions of new workers.” - George Borjas

Ben focuses on the institutional impact of immigration rather than the economic impact and shares two methods for measuring it based on his research.

  • Cross Country Econometric
  • Israel as a Case Study

This research led him to find mostly positive effects of immigration, which he shares in this conversation.

What I’m trying to do is put little pieces of data of something that’s ultimately an empirical question that nobody had data on.” - Benjamin Powell

He concludes some of the concerns of classical liberals are valid, however data points on the opposite direction rather in the fear.

Learn about this new field of immigration research!

Now Watch Powell's lecture on  The Economics of Immigration:



Professor of economics and director, Free Market Institute


Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín