Thursday, April 03, 2008


In countless economics journals over the years, and from the BBC today:

Something approaching conventional wisdom has suggested that immigration brings net benefits to the economy.

Various pieces of research have tended to back up this thinking, but the Lords Committee robustly takes issue with that.

And despite being an immigrant myself, I take issue too. Because however much I would like certain things to be true, I know that some variables make more sense than others.

So I think The House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs has finally pointed out that this particular emperor is not wearing any clothes:

The use of GDP as the measure of immigration's economic contribution was "irrelevant and misleading".

Instead, GDP per capita - or income per head of the population - would be a better measure.

That seems blatantly obvious to me. Of course overall gross domestic product is likely to rise if the population increases, but what surely matters is the welfare of the people, not the number of people.

No comments: