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We Wanted Workers


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About the Author

George J. Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is the recipient of the 2011 IZA Prize in Labor Economics.


""However much you think you know about immigration, you'll learn something from this book. And buy a second copy for your congressman-he needs it even more than you do."" -- Mark Krikorian - The National Review
""A readable and detailed historical tour of America's immigration debates and policies....[Borjas] generously provides readers with arguments on all sides."" -- The Wall Street Journal
"An intriguing, clearly written polemic." -- Kirkus Reviews
"One of America's leading immigration economists presents a level-headed exploration of the effects of immigration on migrant and nonmigrant workers." -- Publishers Weekly
"We Wanted Workers is essential to understanding America's future. Drawing on decades of research, Borjas cuts through the myths and obfuscations plaguing our immigration debate. This is the most lucid, powerful work of social science I've ever read." -- Reihan Salam, executive editor, National Review
"An invaluable addition to the literature on U.S. immigration policy. A model of lucid exposition, it delves deeply into the subtle complexities of a subject that has been rife with sloppy and wishful thinking. Borjas reviews a mountain of evidence in support of a forceful argument for the position that, while there are benefits, one needs also to be mindful of the considerable costs associated with the liberalization of immigration policies." -- Glenn C. Loury, Merton P. Stolz Professor of the Social Sciences, Brown University
"Borjas, the world's leading economic expert on immigration, has penned a nontechnical, nearly conversational book pointing out all the issues in immigration's effects on an economy-particularly the American economy. The central message is 'it depends'-impacts are positive or negative for different natives, different kinds of immigrants, and at different times. With immigration again a central political issue, this book is must-reading for every voter." -- Daniel Hamermesh, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) and Royal Holloway University of London
"'Wir riefen Arbeitskrafte, es kamen Menschen-We wanted workers, people came.' Max Frisch's comment on the economically motivated after-war migrations from Southern Europe and Turkey into Northern Europe lends this fascinating book its title, and points at the core of what distinguishes movement of people from movement of goods. It is this aspect of migration that Borjas emphasizes alongside the economic dimensions, when he ventures in a thoughtful and well-structured way through the various facets of migration. This excellent book is also very personal, telling the story of the migrant George Borjas who arrives as a child refugee from Castro's Cuba and the life's work of the economist George Borjas, pointing at how personal experience has influenced highly acclaimed academic work. A captivating, insightful and easily accessible book that makes great reading for everyone interested in the subject." -- Christian Dustmann, University College London
"Lucid and illuminating." -- Binyamin Appelbaum, correspondent for The New York Times

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