We Wanted Workers is now available

My new book, We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative, was published today.


In case you need a little encouragement to read it, here are a few reactions from early readers:

Reihan Salam: “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.”

Glenn Loury: “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.”

Daniel Hamermesh: “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.”

Christian Dustmann: “‘Wir riefen Arbeitskräfte, 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…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.”

Author: George Borjas

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