Coyote ugly: The deadweight cost of rent seeking for immigration policy

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Many studies use a Harberger triangle method to estimate the immigration surplus to the native born population and conclude that the benefit of immigration is very small in proportion to the size of the US economy and thus the United States does not to stand to lose much if immigration is further restricted. This calculation neglects the rent seeking costs that the US economy bears when immigration policy is politically determined. This study estimates the rent seeking losses that the US economy could suffer if immigration policy were reformed to further close the borders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Choice
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Deadweight loss
  • Immigration
  • Immigration surplus
  • Rent seeking


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