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The Grecian horse: does immigration lead to the deterioration of American institutions?

Alexandre Padilla () and Nicolas Cachanosky ()

Public Choice, 2018, vol. 174, issue 3, 351-405

Abstract: Abstract Concerns about the institutional impact of immigration, particularly in the United States, are not new. We can trace them back to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. More recently, in response to a literature that questions the desirability of current immigration restrictions, Borjas (J Econ Lit 53:961–974, 2015) speculates that immigrants coming from countries with poor institutions could reduce substantially the institutional quality in the United States to a point where it could negate all economic gains associated with immigration in terms of GDP and income. Using the Economic Freedom of North America index since 1980, we find no evidence to corroborate Borjas’s concerns. However, we find mixed evidence that immigration increases minimum wages and union density.

Keywords: Economic freedom; Immigration; Institutions; State government (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F22 H70 O43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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