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The Typical Immigration Restrictionist Is No Better At Economics Than Is the Typical Protectionist

Here’s a letter to the New York Post.


Steven Camarota’s February 3rd op-ed, “No, more immigration won’t stem inflation,” is deeply confused.

In reality, more immigration would indeed stem inflation. A notable reason for this reality is supplied – ironically if unwittingly – by none other than Mr. Camarota when he documents Americans’ sharply declining participation in the labor force.

The lower is the share of working-age Americans actually working, the lower is output. And the lower is output, the lower is the volume of goods and services on which newly created dollars can be spent. The result is price hikes higher than would otherwise occur. With more money chasing fewer goods, inflation is higher than it would be if output were higher.

Precisely because more immigrants would increase output, more immigrants would in fact put downward pressure on the inflation rate.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030