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Nobody Favors Increased Immigration

Adam Ozimek has a cute post noting that Tim Pawlenty could hit his 5 percent real growth target by advocating for increased levels of immigration. In particular, he says immigration could spur a housing market recovery:

Research by Albert Saiz (PDF) has shown that a 10% increase in immigration drives up house prices by 1%. Whatever immigration research you’re looking at, this is an order of magnitude larger than the labor market effects. This is important because immigrants tend to migrate to areas where there are already large numbers of immigrants. This means some of the worst housing markets will benefit the most from more immigration. will benefit the most. For instance, California, Nevada, Florida, and Arizona, are ranked 1st, 4th, 5th, and 9th by percent of population foreign-born. Since falling house prices are hurting the wider economy, the economic benefits of immigration would have secondary positive effects on GDP.

Meanwhile, new polling from data reveals that though higher levels of immigration are popular among economically literate bloggers, all demographic groups hate this idea:

What’s interesting here is that you don’t see support for higher levels of immigration even among the highly educated. The research that purports to show a negative economic impact on the wages of less-educated workers typically shows a positive impact on the wages of college-educated workers. So whatever it is that drives opposition to higher levels of immigration, it’s not merely an accurate assessment of self-interest.

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