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Opinion: Without more immigrants, Social Security (and America) is toast – MarketWatch

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Both Ivan Petkov (Assistant Professor in Economics) and Urbashee Paul (PhD Econ 2022) are mentioned in the MarketWatch article, Opinion: Without more immigrants, Social Security (and America) is toast by Brett Arends.


From 1860 to 1920, America typically got the best impact from immigrants from comparatively richer countries. Those countries, after all, were more likely to have good schools, higher-skilled and more industrialized economies, and more sophisticated political systems. Economists Scott Fulford (at the CFPB in Washington), Ivan Petkov (Northeastern) and Fabio Schiantarelli looked at the same era of mass immigration, 1860 to 1920, and went down to the U.S. county level, but looked at where the immigrants came from.
Bottom line: “Our results show that when the share of people from high income or more [socially] trusting countries increases, county GDP per capita increases as well.” On a county by county basis, they found actual correlations between the GDP per capita of immigrants’ country of origin in 1870 and the county’s GDP per capita today.

“Firms that were once highly reliant on the U.S. H-1B visa for their financial success have adapted quickly to the Trump administration immigration crackdown and taken their business elsewhere,” says Urbashee Paul, an economist who has specialized in the subject. She says recent research has shown that we have simply lost jobs and skilled workers to China, India and Canada. As a result, instead of the famous “brain drain” to America, many countries are enjoying what she calls a “brain gain,” simply “resulting from the influx of reverse-migrants who were denied H-1B visas.”

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