LettersOn immigration, data privacy, our cover of June19th, mobile phones, Kyrgyzstan, accountancy,counter-insurgency, Dr Octopus, job titlesJul 8th 2010Ideas on immigrationSIR – I appreciate that you discussed my proposal to create a market for immigration (Economicsfocus (http://www.economist.com/node/16424085?story_id=16424085) , June 26th). Your articleaccurately presented the essence of my argument, but mentioned two criticisms that areunpersuasive. First, and contrary to the claim that you attributed to Abhijit Banerjee, the system Ipropose of poorer immigrants borrowing from their employers to finance their immigration feesallows the migrants to move freely between employers. As long as labour markets arecompetitive, such quits and hires of immigrants would be perfectly feasible and fair, unlike thesugar-plantation case mentioned in your article.The second criticism, attributed to Sendhil Mullainathan, is that some immigrants may providebenefits to the rest of society; that is, they may create positive “externalities”. In my lecture I
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Immigration to the United States, Human migration