New Borjas Bombshell: Immigration Now Impacting College Grads` Incomes


On

Labor Day
weekend, Americans` fancy resignedly turns
to thoughts of education. In much of the country, not
withstanding the late-summer heat, toddlers and
teenagers have already begun trooping back into the maw
of the

vast K-12 bureaucracy.
  And everywhere,

students
and their fee-paying parents are

contemplating college.

It may all be a waste of time and
money. Well, not a waste, exactly. But the
rewards to education may not be what Americans
anticipate – because of immigration.

The source of this stark message:
another Borjas bombshell – a new research paper from
Cuban-born Harvard University economist

George Borjas
, author of Friends Or Strangers
and

Heaven`s Door
,
who more than anyone has turned
around the immigration debate among
labor economists
by demonstrating that the post-1965
immigrant influx has brought no significant benefit to
native-born Americans and in fact is probably costing
them money, through welfare and other transfer payments.

Borjas` new finding, euphoniously
entitled “The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping:
Re-Examining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor
Market,”
has been

available
since June as a working paper from the
National Bureau of Economic Research. It will be
published in the

Quarterly Journal of Economics
this Fall.

Curiously, the paper has received
no attention in the

Establishment media.

That`s what VDARE.COM is for.

Borjas` conclusion: immigration
1980-2000 increased the workforce by some 11 percent.
This “supply shock” reduced the wages of the average
native-born worker in 2000 by 3.2 percent.

The supply shock`s impact differed
dramatically across education groups. For native-born
high school dropouts, wages were reduced by 8.9 percent.
But, significantly, even for native-born college
graduates, wages were reduced on average by 4.9 percent
.

The impact was greatest on college
graduates with 11-15 years work experience – i.e. most
likely to have young families—when it amounted to 5.9
percent.

But even new college graduates,
with 1-5 years experience, faced a reduction of wages of
3.5 percent.

Think about that when you`re paying

tuition fees.

Of course, elementary economic
theory predicts that, all other things being equal, when
you increase the supply of anything, its price will
fall. But this effect has taken a relatively long time
to show up in the U.S. labor market after the
immigration floodgates were opened by the 1965
legislation. Borjas himself couldn`t detect the effect
when he published Friends And Strangers in 1990,
so he said so. Subsequently, he realized that American
were

moving out
of

immigrant-impacted areas,
causing the wage effect to
be detectable only at a national level. So he said that
too. 

Immigration enthusiasts,
politically committed to their cornucopian view of
immigration, just went on blithely citing Borjas`
earlier view. Catoite

Stuart Anderson
, subsequently a Bush Administration
immigration official (!), did this as late as 1995, when
I nailed him for it in National
Review,
in the brief period before it was
effectively

captured
by the neoconservative/ Beltway
establishment.

The beauty of Borjas` new analysis
is that he has disaggregated census data both by
education level and also by work experience. It turns
out that the impact of immigration influx on the
native-born varies a great deal.

In particular, because a lot of
immigrants are relatively unskilled, but a significant
minority are
highly-educated
, the wage impact is most intense at
both ends of the native-born education range.
Previously, immigration`s impact had been

thought
to be felt only by the

unskilled
.

Of course, the fact that
immigration is impacting the educated native-born is not
news to specialists like

Norm Matloff
,

Rob Sanchez
and

American refugees
from Silicon Valley.  But now
there`s striking proof of a general effect—on the most
articulate and organized sectors of American society.

The end for immigration enthusiasts
is now only a matter of time.