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Submitted by Manjula M. Luthria on

Shanta, thanks for this great post! and bravo for pointing out that we don’t need another review of the costs and benefits of migration since it won’t get us any closer to finding the policy levers for making more of it happen safely and productively. On the resistance to migration, I can think of four possible explanations:
1. Not everyone has read the trillion dollar economic case. Let’s get Lant and Michael on the airwaves some more :)
2. Maybe it’s not economics after all? It’s other things that have nothing to do with economics so no matter how large the economic case it won’t matter.
3. It’s high transaction costs: employers don’t know how to sort and select from overseas, don’t know how to value skills acquired overseas etc. so the noise to signal ratio needs to be improved through labour market facilitation. I’ve seen this work when we’ve done pilots. And yet, I wonder if there’s room for a fourth explanation.
4. People can be irrational! They can vote one way and then act another. How else do you explain a flight that could not take off from Brussels a few months ago and had to turn back from the runway with passengers surrounding the cockpit begging the pilot to not take off. Why? A passenger was being deported to Morocco. I recently met someone who was on this flight and found the incident fascinating.