Home | News |

@UCDavisEcon Giovanni Peri's research sheds light on boon from immigration

@UCDavisEcon and Global Migration Center Founding Director Giovanni Peri recently released a suite of papers with @UCDavisEcon students, alumni, and others providing insights into and quantitative measures of the benefits of immigration for the US economy.

His latest study, joint with @UCDavisEcon student Reem Zaiour, became the basis of a press conference joint with Representative Joaquim Castro and the Center for American Progress. The report shows that policies creating pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the US would lead to up to an additional $1.7 trillion dollars to the nation's GDP and the creation of up to 440 thousand American jobs.

The LA Times published a summary op-ed drawing from this report and additional work by Peri and @UCDavisEcon PhD Candidate Justin Wiltshire. Their research published with the UC Davis Global Migration Center shows that immigrants to the US make up a considerably larger share of workers in industries considered essential during the pandemic than in the population at large. “These simple numbers suggest that immigrants are disproportionately risking exposure to the virus to continue contributing their productive ability where it is needed,” write Peri and Wiltshire. The work was also covered by UnionTrack. Peri was also quoted by the Associated Press explaining the prevalence of higher rates of poverty among foreign-born US residents who have not become naturalized citizens.

Peri's work with Swiss economists Andreas Beerli, Jan Ruffner, and Michael Siegenthaler was spotlighted by the top journal in Economics, the American Economic Review, with the AER Chart of the Week. The chart shows that an influx of skilled workers into Switzerland after allowing free movement of labor from the EU is associated with an increase in the wages of skilled native Swiss workers, who would otherwise have been expected to have suffered from increased competition. "The authors’ findings contrast with the predictions of standard labor market models. Their research suggests that the positive interaction between highly skilled immigrants and firm performance is key to understanding the impact of free movement on native workers."

Work by Peri and @UCDavisEcon alumni Kevin Shih and Chad Sparber showing that immigration of skilled STEM scholars can account for between 30 and 50 percent of aggregate US productivity growth between 1990 and 2010 was featured in Reason Magazine.