Working Papers

The Bipartisan Failure on Immigration

A WSJ editorial wags its finger at Scott Morrisson:

This marks a bipartisan failure. While government and opposition duke it out over a few thousand asylum seekers, neither party seems overly concerned about expanding legal work opportunities. Mr. Rudd’s government is oddly proud that net immigration will likely fall to around 250,000 this year. Representative Scott Morrison, the opposition point man on the issue, told us his party supports skilled migration but that immigration levels “need to be sustainable”—code for sympathy to restrictionism. Both sides miss the key point: Australia doesn’t know what skills it will need in the future or who has those skills. If that “low-skilled” but bright and hardworking teenager from Malaysia can’t get into Australia to wash dishes while he goes to night school, he’ll one day start a billion-dollar company somewhere else.

posted on 04 June 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Population & Migration

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Population Growth and Capacity Constraints

I have an op-ed in today’s Australian on the issue of population growth and capacity constraints:

Much of the debate has been predicated on the mistaken view that population growth and immigration policy should be conditioned on existing capacity constraints, whether it be in the areas of housing, infrastructure, water or the environment. Taken to their logical extreme, many of these concerns would have ruled out the founding of the colony of NSW in 1788, when the infrastructure to support the first European settlers was nonexistent.

A growing population adds to demand for existing resources but also supplies the incentives and additional human capital essential to overcoming temporary resource constraints.

Yes, this is the same op-ed that ran in the Canberra Times some time ago.  It got another run as a result of an error made at the Oz. Not that I’m complaining, but we don’t generally make a practice of double-dipping on op-eds.

posted on 12 May 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Population & Migration

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Don’t Blame Migrants for Home Grown Problems

I had an op-ed in yesterday’s Canberra Times (‘Migrants add to growth hopes’) arguing that politicians are using migrants as scapegoats for the many public policy problems they have been unwilling or unable to tackle themselves. No link, but full text below the fold (text may differ slightly from published version).

The highly readable Chris Berg made similar arguments in a piece for ABC The Drum Unleashed.

continue reading

posted on 27 April 2010 by skirchner in Economics, Population & Migration

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