For a nation founded by immigrants, the U.S. has always harbored a considerable amount of anxiety toward them. Many anti-immigration movements, some of which endure to this day, suggest that immigrants compete with native-born citizens for work, drive down wages, and have a generally negative effect on the economy.
But are these claims true? A new study soon to be published in American Economic Review: Insights suggests that immigrants fill a number of important economic roles and are more likely to start businesses, making them “job makers” more often than “job takers.”
Immigrants get the job done
Like many other questions in economics, whether immigrants are “taking jobs” from the native born is a question of supply and demand. As more people move into an area, the labor supply rises. This means that each individual worker has more people to compete with when applying for a given job. In principle, this could drive down…