I Say High, You Say Low…

The immediate reactions to the National Academy immigration report are in, and the media is having a field day. The reactions already range from mindless pablum lifted straight out of a press release to apocalyptic warnings that the sky is falling. Are these journalists reading looking at the same report? How many have actually laid eyes on a single table or figure in the 500-page virtual book, rather than buying verbatim a vague description of what’s in it?

I think it is crucial that if one is going to talk about what the report says, at the very least take some time to browse the key tables that document the report’s findings. This is one of the reasons that I thought my User’s Guide might be helpful. National Review asked me to help clarify the process even more by writing an essay that briefly summarizes what the key findings are, and that allows the reader to see the exact source of those findings. In an ideal world, this type of documentation would help reduce the discrepancies in what people claim the report says. But, let’s face it, the chance of that happening in the world we live in is trivially small.


Author: George Borjas

I am a Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.