As a professor of finance and economics at Northwest Nazarene University, I was glad to read of Wilder Mayor John Bechtel’s trip to Washington, D.C., to address the need to fix our broken immigration system. I could not agree more with him that there is no reason we should not address this pressing issue.
Economic theory and data clearly show how immigration is good for our economy. Open and free competition in markets leads to the best outcomes for society, and the impact on the labor market is no different. When markets are open to trade, prices are lower and the quantity produced rises, increasing the rate at which our economy can grow and providing more choices for consumers.
Greater immigration is also associated with entrepreneurism. New business formation is a key to economic growth, and immigrants start businesses at higher rates than native-born U.S. citizens. A 2011 study by Economist Robert Fairlie showed that immigrant owned businesses added more than $775 billion of revenue to the U.S. GDP. Other economic research shows that immigration is good for U.S. worker productivity.