(almost) open borders in time magazine

Time’s website has an article that proposes a radical liberalization of immigration:

However, there is another, and much more effective way to increase technological capabilities in low-income countries. Instead of focusing on innovating more technology to make people more productive, we could focus on getting more people to places where they would be productive.

While allowing the free mobility of goods (free trade) can add several percentage points to global GDP, we have long known that free mobility of people could add anywhere from 67-147% to global GDP. Allowing free mobility could essentially double the world’s income.

This is because people in poor areas are not inherently unproductive but their circumstances mostly make them unproductive. So, if they were to migrate, from say, Guatemala to the US, they would become much more productive.

In other words, let people move to places where they can actually be productive. My one criticism is that the authors focus on skilled workers, but there is little reason to think that allowing low-skilled migration wouldn’t be a benefit. Still, I applaud Time for allowing this idea to be debated.\

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Written by fabiorojas

September 19, 2014 at 12:04 am

Posted in economics, fabio

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