Final Version of Mariel Study

My Mariel paper has now gone through the peer review process and it’s officially forthcoming at the Industrial and Labor Relations Review (the same journal that published Card’s original Mariel paper a quarter-century ago). Here is a nice-looking graph that tells the whole story. The graph shows the 3-year moving average of the wage of male, non-Hispanic high school dropouts in and … Read more

Employment of Undocumented Immigrants

Although there have been many attempts to regularize the status of the 11 million undocumented persons in the country, it is difficult to predict the economic impact of such regularization. The reason is simple: We know very little about the socioeconomic characteristics of undocumented persons. I got curious about this a couple of years ago. The Pew Research Center has done a … Read more

Race And Mariel

I finally finished the paper that addresses the latest Mariel-related brouhaha–the claim that the large drop in the wage of high school dropouts in post-Mariel Miami was spuriously created by a change in the racial composition of the March CPS sample. As I documented in earlier blog posts here and here, not much happens to the results of my Mariel paper … Read more

Liberals and Immigration

Peter Beinart has an excellent essay in The Atlantic entitled How the Democrats Lost Their Way On Immigration. The article perfectly encapsulates the conundrum faced by liberals when they think about immigration: Progressive commentators now routinely claim that there’s a near-consensus among economists on immigration’s benefits….There isn’t. According to a comprehensive new report by the National Academies of … Read more

Cato On Mariel

The Cato Institute’s Alex Nowrasteh posted a very interesting piece that reproduces and expands the findings in my Mariel paper. Although the title, “The Mariel Boatlift Raised the Wages of Low-Skilled Miamians,” is very misleading (making it a good example of Cato publicists gone wild), I actually liked the essay and recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. My paper … Read more

Some Advice for President-Elect Trump

More than a few people have asked me in the past few days what advice, if any, I would give to President-elect Trump about immigration. Here are some more-or-less random thoughts that touch on a few of the policy issues that have to be confronted: Enforcement First. The first step must be immediate action to greatly … Read more

On Mariel

A couple of readers of early drafts of We Wanted Workers made some comments last spring that planted an idea in my head: perhaps it was time to revisit Mariel and see what we could learn from that supply shock with the hindsight of 25-years worth of additional research. I resisted the idea for a while, as I … Read more

Brexit, Immigration, and the Experts

A lot of commentators seem to be singling out immigration as a root cause of the dissatisfaction that led the British people to vote to leave the European Union. Here’s Reihan Salam in Slate: Ever since the 1960s, when large-scale Commonwealth immigration sparked intense controversy, the Conservatives have been seen as the more anti-immigration party. And during the Blair … Read more

On Vetting Immigrants

Donald Trump gave a foreign policy speech yesterday where he outlined some of his key proposals to expand the “ideological” vetting of immigrants. Here is the oh-so-serious mainstream summary of the proposals in the New York Times; and here is a better written and more insightful take by Milo Yiannopoulos. Needless to say, the proposals immediately attracted over-the-top reactions. I knew … Read more