The gains for potential immigrants are enormous. In his excellent (and free) Let Their People Come, economist Lant Pritchett argues that the additional income people could earn from working in the U.S. for eight weeks would be the same as the additional income they could earn from a lifetime of access to microcredit programs. Immigration to rich countries beats all other forms of aid as a way to increase the incomes of the worlds poor, and it makes the worlds rich richer to boot.
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Art Carden is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland, California and an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford Universitys Brock School of Business.