According to article, There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers1. What accounts for the difference between Peri and Yasenov’s conclusion and Borjas’ conclusion? Thoroughly discuss the various factors that influenced the results of those two studies.2. Why does Michael Clemens claim that even if no ones wage actually changed, George Borjas’ data would nevertheless have shown a decrease in the average wage after 1980?NOTE: Your grade will be based solely on your objective analysis of the questions in the prompt and rubric.
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Immigration and Wages
Due in NetTutor via the link in Blackboard (learn.wsu.edu) Sunday, January,
27, by 11:50 pm (PST)
In 1980, Fidel Castro, then Cuba’s president, invited Cubans who wished to leave to do so,
provided they left through Cuba’s Mariel harbor. Between May and September, a flotilla
of vessels (called the Mariel Boat–lift) transported about 125,000 Cubans from Mariel to
Miami, resulting in a significant (7 – 8%) increase in the supply of labor in Miami.
The model of Demand and Supply that you have recently studied implies that, other things
constant, an increase in the Supply of a good or service ought to result in a decrease in its
price. That is, when the Supply of Labor rises, all else remaining the same, we expect to see
a decrease in the equilibrium wage in the relevant Labor market. In this case, the relevant
labor market is that for Unskilled Labor, since only about half of the new Cuban immigrants
had a high school degree. There is a broiling controversy over what actually happened.
The graph below is from an article by Micheal Clemens, published by Vox on July 27, 2017
entitled, There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers.
The solid red line tracks the average wage for Unskilled workers in Miami for a period
spanning the 1980 influx of immigrants (from the early 70’s through 1987.) The dotted red
lines indicate the confidence interval around that average. That is, due to the uncertainty
in our measurements, the actual average wage in any given year could be as high as the
top dotted line or as low as the bottom dotted line. The amount of uncertainty and thus,
the width of that confidence interval, depends on the number of people in the sample. The
1
bigger the sample, the more certain the measurement. The gray dashed line shows what the
average wage would have been had the pre–1980 trend continued after 1980.
The graph below shows that average wages of low-skill labor in Miami actually rose after
the wave of immigration – the opposite of the expected effect. The graph below, from the
same article, shows a very different pattern.
The pattern in the first graph was reported by economists Giovanni Peri and Vasil Yasenov
in a 2015 study. The second graph reflects the pattern found in a 2017 article by George
Borjas. In the words of Michael Clemens, “In short, different well-qualified economists arrive
at opposite conclusions about the effects of immigration, looking at the same data about the
same incident, with identical modern analytical tools at their disposal.”
Writing Prompt
According to article, There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers
1. What accounts for the difference between Peri and Yasenov’s conclusion and Borjas’
conclusion? Thoroughly discuss the various factors that influenced the results of those
two studies.
2. Why does Michael Clemens claim that even if no ones wage actually changed, George
Borjas’ data would nevertheless have shown a decrease in the average wage after 1980?
NOTE: Your grade will be based solely on your objective analysis of the questions in the
prompt and rubric.
2
Grading Rubric
Please include your name, instructor’s name (Dr. Prera), course and section number
(EconS 101) and writing assignment (Assignment 1) on the top of your assignment.
I expect about five paragraphs, which adds up to about 1.5 – 2 pages, double spaced. Your
essay will be assessed as either ‘Meets expectations’ or ‘Needs improvement’ on each of the
criteria in the table below.
If your essay needs improvement, you will be given feedback from NetTutor to help you
revise it. You have one week from the time you receive your feedback to revise
and re-submit the essay to NetTutor for another try – but you only get one second
chance. Youll need to accumulate three acceptable writing assignments to fulfill the writing
portion of the course requirements.
Criteria
Writing
Point 1
Point 2
Point 3
Point 4
Meets Expectations
Ideas are well-organized.
Transition sentences effectively
connect one idea to the next.
The essay is free of typos and
grammatical errors.
The cause of the difference between the two conclusions is correctly explained.
The explanation of why the two
conclusions differ is thoroughly
supported with details from the article.
Both causes of the change in the
racial composition of the CPS are
accurately identified.
Both causes of bias towards lower
average wages in Borjas’ sample
are adequately explained.
3
Needs Improvement
The writing is difficult to follow
and/ or poorly organized.
Transition sentences are absent or
ineffective.
Typos and/ or grammatical errors
distract the reader.
The cause of the difference between
the two conclusions is incorrectly
reported.
The explanation of why the two
conclusions differ lacks sufficient
detail.
The causes of the change in the
racial composition of the CPS are
incompletely or inaccurately explained.
The causes of bias toward lower
average wages in Borjas’ sample
are incompletely or incorrectly explained.
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