Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ivory Tower of Babel

So immigration reform is on life support in the US Congress. According to the NY Times it was killed by this couple:

Meanwhile, the NY Times Magazine profiles economist Lant Pritchett, who advocates huge increases in guest workers from the poorest countries to the rich ones.

Immigration seems to be the hottest of hot button issues in the blogosphere. Economists advocating increased immigration often are taunted with phrases like "but here in the real world" and others quite a bit less polite. Yet economics is an incredibly globalized profession.

In my department, in the southwest of the USA, we have professors from Argentina, Turkey, China (3), India, and Greece (2) out of 18 total positions (along with a visitor from Peru).

At Harvard, the first six names on the economics faculty directory are Aghion (France), Alesina (Italy), Ambrus (Hungary), Antras (Spain), Ardagna (Italy), and Amendariz (Mexico).

The journals in which we seek to publish receive articles from economists around the world.

Maybe one of the reasons economists by and large favor globalization and are relaxed about immigration is that we have been living it for quite a while now. Or maybe we really are just the clueless, sheltered, pointy-headed freaks we are accused of being.