The Great Immigration Debate — Now the Great Peri-Borjas Debate

Upon Closer inspection

Fun to watch a public spat between two immigration economists, Giovanni Peri and George Borjas, with others chiming in on one side or the other. As Giovanni pointedly told me last year, I am not an economist. But I am a statistician (and, for what little it’s worth, was an econ minor in college), and equally importantly, “I know where some of the bodies are buried,” and I claim to be able to add some value to this debate. By the way, since I know both parties to this debate, it will be more comfortable to me to refer to them by first names.

First, some background: In 1980, Fidel Castro, essentially said to the U.S. president Jimmy Carter defiantly, said “You want Cubans? Well, I’m going to give your Cubans!” (China’s Deng Xiaoping also said to Carter, “You want Chinese immigrants? Excellent. How many millions do you want?”…

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