Thursday, February 28, 2013

Norm Matloff has an EPI briefing paper on high skill immgiration


Matloff has grown on me over time. He is a math PhD and a computer science professor, so I had a lot of trouble at first with how he framed and thought about things, but making an adjustment for that difference of perspectives I've appreciated him more (not that I concede his is always the best way of approaching a question).

Haven't read this briefing paper yet, but it looks like it's similar to things of his I have read and talks I've seen him give. Peoples' sense of the composition of the high skill immigrant population is often skewed and he addresses some of those questions.


  1. So Daniel Kuehn...when did you first hear of Norman Matloff?

    Also, should I take this post of yours as a sign that you wouldn't be opposed to working with a professional mathematician (whose interests include probability and statistics, I might add) on scholarly research in the future? ;-P

  2. What is most important is that your humble servant, this reporter, has been consistently stating the obvious fact and that is that letting in "foreign talent" leads to an internal brain drain, which is the primary conclusion of the study, which you omit to report, no doubt because you continue to be embarrassed that some of us, sans being a Phd student, know this stuff a damn site better than do you


    1. I didn't report it because I haven't read it yet. The only thing I did in this post was note that it was about high skill immigration and recommend Matloff with the caveat that he doesn't always approach these questions like an economist might.

      Anyway, I've talked in the past about native impacts so I don't see why you think I'm so embarassed to report such a thing.

    2. It seems to me that, putting first things first, we should always talk about how a policy will impact our citizens, first.

      In the case of high skill visas, it answers the question simply: Just say No.

      Nothing further needs saying.


  3. High-skill immigration pushes down salaries in those high skill-areas. That's why tech companies lobby for it, it helps them compete against companies in other countries (of course, it doesn't help them compete with each other, because they all benefit). Similarly, low-skill immigration pushes down wages in low skill-areas.

    Of-course in the long-run where things tend towards general equilibrium there's probably much less of an effect, as we've discussed before in these comment threads. A person is a worker and consumer, and has a profile of saving and dis-saving over their life.


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