The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School


What immigration actually does to jobs, wages and more

Outlet: Marketplace

Zeke Hernandez, professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, spoke with “Marketplace Morning Report” host Sabri Ben-Achour about his forthcoming book called “The Truth About Immigration: Why Successful Societies Welcome Newcomers.” 

“Let’s start with the big picture: What goes into job creation? Or you could even think economic growth more broadly, right? And that’s going to be a function of, yes, the number of workers in the economy, but also a lot of other things, like the amount of investment in the economy, the number and the quality of new ideas that people have, the number of new businesses that people start because of the ideas, the new technologies that are introduced into the economy, the amount of demand, the variety of goods and services that are demanded. So all of those are the ingredients that go into creating jobs and growing an economy. And the short of it is that the evidence tells us that immigrants contribute positively to all of those ingredients. That is, immigrants, when they settle in a community, that community receives a lot more investment. When immigrants arrive, there are not just more workers that are competing with native workers, but there are more people who demand housing, entertainment, food, education. And so you need to hire more people to satisfy that bigger demand. Immigrants disproportionately start businesses and those businesses create jobs.”