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Let Anyone Take A Job Anywhere

The BriefGet Up To Speed

If we value a free market in goods and free movement of capital, should we embrace the free movement of labor? Reciprocal treaties would allow citizens of the U.S. and other countries to work legally across borders. Would the elimination of barriers in the labor market depress wages and flood the marketplace with workers? Or would the benefits of a flexible labor supply be a boon to our economy, all while raising the standard of living for anyone willing to work?


What is the greatest single class of distortions in the global economy? One contender for this title is the tightly binding constraints on emigration from poor countries.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Michael Clemens

Closing borders to protect national production and people from imports and competences from abroad have become a worrying undercurrent in many parts of the European Union. Yet immigration is crucial for European competitiveness and economic growth.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Natalia Macyra

Some economists are pushing for ‘open borders.’

Friday, April 26, 2013
Shaun Raviv

Pritchett highlights the difficult political and ethical issues that the movement of people across national borders presents to the current system and proposes greater use of temporary worker permits, permit rationing, reliance on bilateral rather than multilateral agreements, and protection of migrants' fundamental human rights.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Lant Pritchett

It is abhorrent that the rich and the educated are allowed to circulate around the world more or less freely, while the poor are not — causing, in effect, a form of global apartheid.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Melissa Lafsky interviews Philippe Legrain

For a comprehensive reading list of pro-open borders materials, visit this link.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Although it is unclear that U.S. natives benefit from immigration on net, immigration does induce a sizable redistribution of wealth—away from competing workers and toward Americans who hire or use immigrant-provided services.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
George Borjas

Is the freedom of open borders for immigrants brought about at the expense of the freedom of those who are not.

Sunday, March 1, 1998
John Hospers

The loss of the skilled and educated may do more harm than emigration in general. These particular people create new jobs for others. Their departure removes the stabilizing political influence of a middle class.

Thursday, September 26, 2002
The Economist

Despite all the talk about the economic contributions of unskilled labor, few unskilled immigrants contribute anything equal to what they extract from the unwilling taxpayer.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Stephen Cox

For a comprehensive reading list of anti-open borders materials, visit this link.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
EU - Free Movement of Workers

Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

The European Economic Area (EEA) brings together the EU Member States and three of the EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). It was established by the EEA Agreement, an international agreement which enables these three EFTA States to participate fully in the Single Market. It covers the four freedoms, i.e. the free movement of goods, capital, services and persons, plus competition and state aid rules and horizontal areas related to the four freedoms.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

While the economic impact of EU migration has been broadly positive, there are some indications that it may have negatively affected the earnings of low-skilled workers, although other studies suggest that EU migration has had fewer negative effects than other transnational migration.

Friday, March 1, 2013
Meghan Benton and Milica Petrovic

During the period under consideration, free movement of workers has become a subject of less consensus among the political and media circles of the Member States.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
European Commission
World Migration

This report examines the impact of migration on individual well-being, draws upon the findings of the Gallup World Poll, and looks at how migration outcomes differ depending on the origin and destination of migrants.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969

Despite the economic and financial crisis, global migration continues to rise. Yet, the growth in the global migrant stock has slowed down since 2007.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016
A joint contribution by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the OECD to the United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development

This report evaluates the evidence on how migration may promote or hinder development in countries of origin, and explores possible win-win solutions for both sending and receiving countries.

Thursday, June 1, 2006
Louka Katseli

This document provides a preliminary overview of highly skilled migration in OECD counties in recent years, of policies which governments have introduced with regard to this kind of migration and of the issues underlying a number of the policy options.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969
Jonathan Chaloff and Georges Lemaitre

This publication provides an analysis of recent developments in migration movements and policies in OECD countries and two analytical chapters, covering the fiscal impact of immigration in OECD countries and the discrimination against immigrants.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969