Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

George J Borjas

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Citizenship  American
Fields  Economist
Role  Economist
Name  George Borjas

George J. Borjas httpsgborjasfileswordpresscom2016011121

Born  Jorge Jesus Borjas October 15, 1950 (age 65) Havana, Cuba (1950-10-15)
Alma mater  St. Peter's College Columbia University
Known for  research on immigration
Residence  Lexington, Massachusetts, United States
Education  Saint Peter's University, Columbia University
Books  Labor Economics, Heaven's Door: Immigrati, Mexican Immigration to the Uni, Wage policy in the Feder, Immigration Economics
Similar People  David Card, Marta Tienda, Joshua Angrist

Institutions  Harvard Kennedy School

George j borjas costs of immigration economics roundtable

George Jesus Borjas (born Jorge Jesús Borjas; October 15, 1950) is an American economist and the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has been described as "America’s leading immigration economist". He has been described as an "immigration skeptic". Borjas has published a number of studies that show that immigration adversely affects low-skilled natives, a proposition that is debated among economists.


Asce 2013 keynote address by prof george j borjas

Personal life and education

Borjas was born in Havana, Cuba, on October 15, 1950. He migrated to the United States in October 1962 with his mother. He graduated with a B.S. in economics and mathematics from St. Peter's College in 1971. He then completed his M.A. in economics from Columbia University in 1974. He completed his M.Phil and Ph.D. in economics from Columbia in 1975 for thesis titled Job Investment, Labor Mobility and Earnings.

He is married and has three children.

Academic career

Borjas became an assistant professor of economics at Queens College, City University of New York from 1975 to 1977. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Economics, University of Chicago from 1977 to 1978. He was also a Senior Research Analyst, National Bureau of Economic Research from 1972 to 1978.

He joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980 and remained there for ten years. He then became a professor at the University of California, San Diego from 1990 to 1995. He joined the faculty at Harvard University in 1995.


Borjas was called "America’s leading immigration economist" by BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal. He is an influential figure in the debate on immigration and his research on the economic impact of immigration plays a central role in the debate over immigration policy in the United States.

He has written many books and has published more than 100 articles in books and scholarly journals, including the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics. His most recent book is We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016).

Jason Richwine

Borjas was the primary advisor to Jason Richwine, whose Harvard dissertation concluded that Latino immigrants to the U.S. are and will remain less intelligent than "native whites." Borjas claimed that he "played no role in topic selection or forming the research agenda" for Richwine's disseration, but some social science scholars noted it could be problematic for a disseration advisor to fail to challenge a student's topic selection.

Mariel boatlift research

In 2017, an analysis of Borjas' study on the effects of the Mariel boatlift concluded that Borjas' findings "may simply be spurious" and that his theory of the economic impact of the boatlift "doesn't fit the evidence." A number of other studies concluded the opposite of what Borjas' study had found. Borjas denied that he had misconstrued the data, calling the controversy "fake news." Borjas furthermore suggested that one of the economists, Michael Clemens, whose study challenged Borjas' was motivated by the political bias of "Silicon Valley" philanthropists who contribute to the Center for Global Development where Clemens works.

In August 2017, the Trump administration, while defending its plan to reduce levels of legal immigration to the United States by 50%, cited Borjas' research on the Mariel boatlift as evidence that low-skilled immigration reduced wages for American workers. Fact-checkers noted that Borjas' research on the Mariel boatlift was rebutted by other researchers and has received "major criticisms".

Economic Job Market Rumors forum

After a peer-review scandal was revealed on the website, in June 2016, Borjas praised the discourse on the Economics Job Market Rumors as being "refreshing": "There’s still hope for mankind when many of the posts written by a bunch of over-educated young social scientists illustrate a throwing off of the shackles of political correctness and reflect mundane concerns that more normal human beings share: prestige, sex, money, landing a job, sex, professional misconduct, sex..." A 2017 paper found evidence of outright hostility towards women on the website. When asked about the paper, Borjas said, "While there is some value in that forum, there is also a great deal that is offensive and disturbing. The problem is I’m not sure exactly where to draw line." According to Brad DeLong, "the only economics professor of any ideology or university I can recall ever praising EJMR is George Borjas."

Political views

The Miami Herald describes him as "avowed conservative". According to the Miami Herald, Borjas "supports increased restrictions on immigration, but he doesn’t believe a wall — built by Mexico or anyone else — does any good. He opposes the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants as inhumane. And he advocates a tax on businesses — high-tech, agricultural and all the rest — that profit from cheaper immigrant wages, and giving that money to Americans displaced by the immigrants."


Borjas was listed in Who's Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry and Who’s Who in Economics. He was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1998 and a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists in 2004. He was also a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Governor of California from 1993 to 1998, of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on the Demographic and Economic Impact of Immigration from 1995 to 1997, and chaired the National Science Foundation’s Committee of Visitors for the Economics Program in 1996.

In 2011 he was named co-winner of the IZA Prize in Labor Economics.


The following are the books published by Borjas.

  • Wage Policy in the Federal Bureaucracy (American Enterprise Institute, 1980)
  • Friends or Strangers: The Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy (Basic Books, 1990)
  • Labor Economics (McGraw-Hill, 1996; 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd edition, 2005, 4th edition, 2008, 5th edition, 2010,)
  • Heaven’s Door: Immigration Policy and the American Economy (Princeton University Press, 1999)
  • Immigration Economics (Harvard University Press, 2014)
  • We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016)
  • References

    George J. Borjas Wikipedia