The Benefits of Open Immigration

From Michael Clemens in the Journal of Economic Perspectives:

The gains from eliminating migration barriers dwarf—by an order of a magnitude or two—the gains from eliminating other types of barriers. For the elimination of trade policy barriers and capital flow barriers, the estimated gains amount to less than a few percent of world GDP. For labor mobility barriers, the estimated gains are often in the range of 50–150 percent of world GDP.

Of course this implies some fairly large-scale movement of people.  Which would be great.  But even capturing a piece of the “trillion dollar bill on the sidewalk” would be huge:

the emigration of less than 5 percent of the population of poor regions would bring global gains exceeding the gains from total elimination of all policy barriers to merchandise trade and all barriers to capital flows.

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About brianbergfeld
I am an economics PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis.

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