Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The supply of jobs is not fixed

It is also widely believed that immigrants take local workers’ jobs, with the assumption that only a fixed number of jobs exist to go around. This is nonsense. We heard similar scare stories when women began to enter the labor force in large numbers: many men thought that if women started working, there would be fewer jobs for them. In fact, of course, most women now work, as do most men.
--Philippe Legrain, Freakonomics blog, on false fears of immigrants

2 comments:

Jess Austin said...

This seems a bit disingenuous. It's true that a larger economy supports more jobs at most pay levels. However, it's also completely possible that a particular job category in a particular industry can be dominated by recent immigrants willing to work for less. This is the market at work, foundation of capitalism, yada, yada, but that doesn't mean that carpenters aren't having to find work outside the construction industry. To someone in that situation, it might feel like he lost his job.

Albert said...

Need more econ people in Government. The failure of socialized healthcare is a simple supply and demand equation, with government imposed price ceilings. If government is to implement social healthcare, then they should also take steps to increase the number of doctors - perhaps opening 2nd rate med schools with lower costs and admission standards.