Catalogue


Heaven's door : immigration policy and the American economy /
George J. Borjas.
imprint
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 1999.
description
xvii, 263 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0691059667 (cl : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 1999.
isbn
0691059667 (cl : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3170829
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This provocative and carefully researched book will create a lot of waves. In well written and engaging prose, George Borjas addresses some difficult questions and bravely provides some difficult answers to issues that America as a nation must confront. Heavens Door will be controversial, but it will be by far the best and most important source document for the coming national debate on the Second Great Migration."-- William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University "A new book by George Borjas always provides original and honest insights that help us better understand immigrations impact on our country. Heavens Door breaks important new ground on the social mobility of immigrants and their children and on the causes of the recent decline of immigrants skills relative to those of natives. At the same time, it updates Borjass work of the past decade on the costs and benefits of immigration. No one interested in the consequences of American immigration policy, present or proposed, should be without a well-worn copy."-- U.S. Representative Lamar Smith "The steady, thoughtful work of George Borjas has had a profound impact on the always emotional debate over immigration policy in the United States. The present nature of the national immigration debate would be different indeed were it not for Borjass work. This book may well be controversial, but its clarity, sincerity, and relevance for anyone fascinated with immigration issues is rock solid."-- Alan Simpson, U.S. Senator (Wyo.), Retired "George Borjas has written a well-reasoned and well-documented book on the costs and benefits of immigration for the American economy. He offers imaginative proposals for reforms in immigration policies that deserve serious attention."-- James J. Heckman, University of Chicago "George Borjas has nearly single-handedly turned the economic study of immigration into a respectable and heavily researched topic. Like all his other work on the subject, this book is important reading and maybe even more valuable because it is accessible to anyone with a serious interest in the subject."-- Orley Ashenfelter, Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics, Princeton University "Borjas is the leading American economist today writing about immigration policy. I do not share all of his views, but they have to be taken seriously by everyone in the field, and indeed his research has shaped the field more than that of any other writer."-- John Isbister, University of California, Santa Cruz
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-02:
Borjas (public policy, Harvard) authoritatively summarizes the economics profession's current understanding of American immigration. He documents the recent decline in immigrants' relative economic status, tying it to the rising share of immigrants from less developed countries. He finds that ethnic income differentials may persist for many generations, partly because of negative spillovers within ethnic groups, especially within ethnic enclaves. He provides a thoughtful examination of immigration's fiscal impact and argues that because the overall estimated net economic gains to natives from immigration are tiny, immigration can best be analyzed as a redistribution policy. Acknowledging measurement problems, he estimates that recent immigration has caused substantial declines in the relative wages of high school dropouts, while benefiting those with high incomes. Borjas closes by suggesting that the US reduce immigration levels and adopt policies favoring more skilled immigrants. This reviewer found these recommendations, the book's title, and Borjas's general frame of reference disturbing--he implicitly argues that US policy makers should pay little attention to noneconomic factors and systematically ignores welfare gains to immigrants themselves and those outside the US. This book pulls together much of Borjas's recently published work and will probably become the most influential, widely read study of the subject. For all collections. R. M. Whaples Wake Forest University
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-08:
Borjas is the leading American economist conducting research and writing about immigration policy today. A Cuban refugee who greatly benefited from the political privileges and economic opportunities associated with living in the United States, he provides a comprehensive account of the economic impact of immigration on this country. In framing his argument that U.S. immigration policy needs to be changed, he considers the skills of the immigrants, their national origin, the impact on the labor market, the costs and benefits associated with immigration, welfare use, economic mobility, ethnic segregation, and the need for cultural and economic assimilation. He highlights his discussion by pointing out that the key issues to be addressed are how many immigrants should be admitted to the United States each year and what skills they should have. A marvelous read that should be useful in both academic and public libraries.ÄNorman B. Hutcherson, Kern Cty. Lib., Bakersfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A former Cuban refugee, Borjas addresses vexing questions in the U.S. immigration debate, offering an up-to-date and informative assessment of the modern immigrant experience and an excellent review of the recent academic research."-- Foreign Affairs
"A lively and penetrating investigation of the economic dimension of immigration in the US . . . Borjas is an acknowledged master of inventive economic reasoning and theory, and he makes impressively extensive use of census and other data on immigrants. He, more than anyone, has brought the theoretical and methodological apparatus of contemporary economics to bear on immigration, and his contribution to the growth of the field has been considerable."-- Jeffrey G. Reitz, Journal of International Migration and Integration
"A thoughtful, sophisticated and richly informative book that merits close attention."-- Stephan Thernstrom, Times Literary Supplement
"[A] tour de force on the economics of immigration. In the policy area where emotion or ideology usually overwhelms analysis, this is a stunning piece of research--nuanced, lucid and forceful. . . . This is an enormously impressive book."-- Peter Skerry, The Washington Post
"Borjas is a remarkably clear guide to the issues. . . . Borjas, one is convinced, is acting from concern for the public good as his research has revealed it to him."-- Nathan Glazer, Harvard Magazine
"Borjas is the leading American economist conducting research and writing about immigration policy. A mervelous read. . . ."-- Library Journal
"For an impressively researched, brightly written and tightly argued polemic against America's current liberal immigration policy, look at Heavens Door. "-- Sylvia Nasar, New York Times
" Heaven's Door is by far the best introduction I have seen to the economics of immigration."-- New York Review of Books
Honorable Mention for the 1999 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Government and Political Science, Association of American Publishers
"I highly recommend this book. It is written in a very accessible style; the arguments are easy to follow by nonexperts. . . . For those who might want to consider some important facts that bear on the future of immigration to the United States, though, I would urge them to read this book."-- Jim Gimpel, Political Science Quarterly
"Will probably become the most influential, widely read study of the subject."-- Choice
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, August 1999
Wall Street Journal, September 1999
Booklist, October 1999
Choice, February 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Publisher Fact Sheet
This book presents the economic impact on America, of recent immigration.
Unpaid Annotation
The U.S. took in more than a million immigrants per year in the late 1990s, more than at any other time in history. For humanitarian and many other reasons, this may be good news. But as George Borjas shows in "Heaven's Door, it's decidedly mixed news for the American economy--and positively bad news for the country's poorest citizens. Widely regarded as the country's leading immigration economist, Borjas presents the most comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date account yet of the economic impact of recent immigration on America. He reveals that the benefits of immigration have been greatly exaggerated and that, if we allow immigration to continue unabated and unmodified, we are supporting an astonishing transfer of wealth from the poorest people in the country, who are disproportionately minorities, to the richest.In the course of the book, Borjas carefully analyzes immigrants' skills, national origins, welfare use, economic mobility, and impact on the labor market, and he makes groundbreaking use of new data to trace current trends in ethnic segregation. He also evaluates the implications of the evidence for the type of immigra
Main Description
The U.S. took in more than a million immigrants per year in the late 1990s, more than at any other time in history. For humanitarian and many other reasons, this may be good news. But as George Borjas shows in Heaven's Door , it's decidedly mixed news for the American economy--and positively bad news for the country's poorest citizens. Widely regarded as the country's leading immigration economist, Borjas presents the most comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date account yet of the economic impact of recent immigration on America. He reveals that the benefits of immigration have been greatly exaggerated and that, if we allow immigration to continue unabated and unmodified, we are supporting an astonishing transfer of wealth from the poorest people in the country, who are disproportionately minorities, to the richest. In the course of the book, Borjas carefully analyzes immigrants' skills, national origins, welfare use, economic mobility, and impact on the labor market, and he makes groundbreaking use of new data to trace current trends in ethnic segregation. He also evaluates the implications of the evidence for the type of immigration policy the that U.S. should pursue. Some of his findings are dramatic: Despite estimates that range into hundreds of billions of dollars, net annual gains from immigration are only about $8 billion. In dragging down wages, immigration currently shifts about $160 billion per year from workers to employers and users of immigrants' services. Immigrants today are less skilled than their predecessors, more likely to re-quire public assistance, and far more likely to have children who remain in poor, segregated communities. Borjas considers the moral arguments against restricting immigration and writes eloquently about his own past as an immigrant from Cuba. But he concludes that in the current economic climate--which is less conducive to mass immigration of unskilled labor than past eras--it would be fair and wise to return immigration to the levels of the 1970s (roughly 500,000 per year) and institute policies to favor more skilled immigrants.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The US has been taking in over one million immigrants per year in the late 1990s, more than at any other time in its history. George J. Borjas argues that this represents bad news for the country's economy, and especially for its poorest citizens.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Reframing the Immigration Debatep. 3
The Skills of Immigrantsp. 19
National Originp. 39
The Labor Market Impact of Immigrationp. 62
The Economic Benefits from Immigrationp. 87
Immigration and the Welfare Statep. 105
Social Mobility across Generationsp. 127
Ethnic Capitalp. 146
Ethnic Ghettosp. 161
The Goals of Immigration Policyp. 174
A Proposal for an Immigration Policyp. 189
Conclusionp. 211
Notesp. 213
Indexp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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