Impact of Immigration on the Distribution of American Well-Being

Posted: 3 Mar 2010

See all articles by Gary Burtless

Gary Burtless

Brookings Institution; Boston College - Retirement Research Center

Date Written: December 1, 2009


Changes in the net immigration rate and in the age distribution and skills of immigrants have important effects on the average age and skill mix of the population. In the short run, increases in immigration boost the number of workers and aggregate earnings and reduce the ratio of elderly to non-elderly. This paper examines the impact of U.S. immigration since 1980 on trends in wages and income and the relative incomes of young and old. It simulates the wage and income distributional impacts of a reduced flow of immigrants into the United States.

Suggested Citation

Burtless, Gary T, Impact of Immigration on the Distribution of American Well-Being (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN:

Gary T Burtless (Contact Author)

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Economic Studies Program
Washington, DC 20036-2188
United States
202-797-6000 (Phone)
202-797-6181 (Fax)

Boston College - Retirement Research Center ( email )

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Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

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