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Immigration Policies Slow U.S. Productivity

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Post September 11 immigration policies in the U.S. may slow down productivity in the country according to Federal Reserve Governor Ben Bernanke.

“I think a very important part of the productivity gains in the past decade were associated with our open immigration policy,” Bernanke said. “If we don’t allow, if we don’t make provision for bright people, whether they be graduate students or professional people to come…that’s a loss to our society and a loss to our potential productivity.”

“For our growth (this year) to be what we hope it will be, that is, above trend, maybe 3-1/2 percent or even better, we need for the trade balance to be no worse of a drag than it has been recently,” said Bernanke.

A Reuters article points out that stronger growth around the world would help because U.S. trade partners could be less reliant on exporting to the U.S. if their own consumers spent more money.

“I think there’s a reasonable expectation of a decent performance in Europe and in Japan and continued strength in China,” claimed Bernanke.

“Our hope is that the trade balance will not worsen and become even more of a drag in 2005 than it was in 2004 and if that’s the case, the prospects for reasonable (U.S.) growth are pretty good,” he said.

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Immigration Policies Slow U.S. Productivity
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