Assignment on Immigration and Wages

Assignment on Immigration and Wages

Assignment on Immigration and Wages

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Immigration and Wages: In 1980, Fidel Castro, then Cuba’s president, invited Cubans who wished to leave his country to do so, provided they left through Cuba’s Mariel harbor. Between May and September, a flotilla of vessels (called the Mariel Boatlift) transported about 125,000 Cubans from Mariel to Miami, resulting in a significant (7-8%) increase in the supply of labor in Miami.

The model of demand and supply that you have recently studied implies that, other things constant, an increase in the supply of a good or service ought to result in a decrease in its price. That is, when the supply of labor rises, all else remaining the same, we expect to see a decrease in the equilibrium wage in the relevant labor market. In this case, the relevant labor market is that for unskilled labor, since only about half of the new Cuban immigrants had a high school degree.

There is now a broiling controversy over what actually happened.

The graph below is from an article by Micheal Clemens, published by Vox on July 27, 2017 entitled There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers.  The solid red line tracks the average wage for unskilled workers in Miami for a period spanning the 1980 influx of immigrants (from the early 70’s through 1987.) The dotted red lines indicate the confidence interval around that average. That is, due to the uncertainty in our measurements, the actual average wage in any given year could be as high as the top dotted line or as low as the bottom dotted line. The amount of uncertainty – and thus, the width of that confidence interval, depends on the number of people in the sample.  The bigger the sample, the more certain the measurement. The gray dashed line shows what the average wage would have been had the pre-1980 trend continued after 1980.

The graph shows that average wages of low-skill labor in Miami actually rose after the wave of immigration – the opposite of the expected effect. The graph below, from the same article, shows a very different pattern.

The pattern in the first graph was reported by economists Giovanni Peri and Vasil Yasenov in a 2015 study. The second graph reflects the pattern found in a 2017 article by George Borjas.

In the words of Michael Clemens, “In short, different well-qualified economists arrive at opposite conclusions about the effects of immigration, looking at the same data about the same incident, with identical modern analytical tools at their disposal.”

Writing Prompt:  According to article, There’s no evidence that immigrants hurt any American workers, what accounts for the difference between Peri and Yasenov’s conclusion and Borjas’ conclusion?  Thoroughly discuss the various factors that influenced the results of those two studies.  Why does Michael Clemens claim that – even if no one’s wage actually changed,  George Borjas’ data would nevertheless have  shown a decrease in the average wage after 1980?

Immigration and Wages NOTE:  Your grade will be based solely on your objective analysis of the questions in the prompt.

Immigration and Wages Grading Rubric – 5 criteria

Please include your name, instructor’s name (Josh Tibbitts), course and section number (EconS 101.02), and writing assignment (Assignment 1) on the top of your assignment.

I expect about five paragraphs – which adds up to about 1 ½ – 2 pages, double spaced. Your essay will be assessed as either ‘Meets expectations’ or ‘Needs improvement’ on each of the criteria in the table below.  If your essay needs improvement, you will be given feedback from NetTutor to help you revise it.  You have one week from the time you receive your feedback to revise and re-submit the essay to NetTutor for another try – but you only get one second chance. You’ll need to accumulate three acceptable writing assignments to fulfill the writing portion of the course requirements.

Criterion Needs Improvement Meets Expectations
Writing The writing is difficult to follow

and/or poorly organized.

Transition sentences are absent or ineffective. Typos

and/or grammatical errors distract the reader.

Ideas are well-organized. Transition sentences effectively connect one idea to the next. The essay is free of typos and grammatical errors.
Point 1 The cause of the difference between the two conclusions is incorrectly reported. The cause of the difference between the two conclusions is correctly explained.
Point 2 The explanation of why the two conclusions differ lacks sufficient detail. The explanation of why the two conclusions differ is thoroughly supported with details from the article.
Point 3 The causes of the change in the racial composition of the CPS are incompletely or inaccurately explained. Both causes of the change in the racial composition of the CPS are accurately identified.
Point4 The causes of bias toward lower average wages in Borjas’ sample are incompletely or incorrectly explained. Both causes of bias towards lower average wages in Borjas’ sample are adequately explained.

Assignment Policies



Please read all of the information about the assignments below:


The assignments are to be done in Microsoft Word with Times New Roman 12- point font. Each assignment should use the modified APA 6th edition format. The assignment templates are set up in this modified format. The reference page should be in the APA format for every reference. The word requirement for the assignments are specifically stated in the guidelines of the assignment. The word count is from the first word of the introductory paragraph to the last word of the conclusion paragraph. FYI.


1- There should be a cited reference for each section of a paper as there are conclusion statements in each section (to meet the grading criteria) so the conclusion should be supported by a reference as the assignments are evidence-based research, clinical papers.

2- Word Count- The word count is done from the first word of the introductory paragraph to the last word of the conclusion. The word count must be within the minimum and maximum word limit stated in the assignment instructions. A 10% – point reduction will be made in the total points for the assignment.

Week 1 and 5 assignments should have SIX studies. Week 5 assignment is a compilation of sections from the week 1, 2 & 3 assignments.

Weeks 2 and 3 need to have at least THREE studies in the form of research studies. Please make sure that you look at the instructions for the assignment as well as the grading rubric. I have also provided templates for ALL assignments. It is in your best interest to use these as it will guide you so that you do not make common formatting errors.


Please utilize the resources in the STUDENT SUCCESS CENTER if you have difficulty with APA 6th Edition format, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation or tense structure.


Always submit the assignment in the drop box for that assignment. I cannot accept any assignment as an attachment to an email sent to my college email. Attaching it to a posting to the Questions to Instructor Forum or the Individual Forum is also not accepted.

I cannot grade any assignment unless it is placed into the drop box by the student per university policy.

Turn-It-In / Lopes Write

This is to be used for the assignments for these three weeks (2, 3 & 5) and it is NOT required for Week 1. All assignments will be placed through Turn It In first and then submitted in the drop box on the course shell. No assignments will be accepted as attachments to emails as this is not the university policy.

Grading Rubric-

The rubric for each assignment is found in the upper right- hand corner of the assignment page under the Forum Tab. Compare the requirements of the rubric with your paper prior to submission into the drop box so you will receive full credit for all graded criteria of the paper.

Late Assignment-

Any assignment that is late will have 10% deducted each day it is late. This is a 5- week class. It is imperative that you ask for help if you are having difficulty with an assignment.

You need to contact me as soon as possible if an assignment will be late prior to the submission deadline.