The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics


George J. Borjas

Immigration is once again a major component of demographic change in the United States. Since 1940, the number of legal immigrants increased at a rate of one million per decade. By 2002, approximately one million legal immigrants were being admitted each year, a rate of almost ten million for the decade (Table 1). Large numbers of illegal aliens also have entered the country. According to the official estimates of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, there were 7 million illegal aliens in the United States in 2000, and this number grows by about 350,000 per year.

In the early 1900s, when immigration reached historically high levels, half the growth in U.S. population was due to immigration. In the 1970s, only about one-quarter of the growth in population was due to immigration. Current immigration again accounts for about half the growth in population, not only because of the large number of immigrants, but also because of the declining fertility rate of American women....


Health Insurance

John C. Goodman

Public Choice

William F. Shughart II

Health Care

Michael A. Morrisey

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Gunnar Myrdal


Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish economist, made an international reputation with his 1944 book, An American Dilemma, today considered a classic in sociology. The book was the end product of a study that the Carnegie Corporation had commissioned about what was then called the "Negro question." Myrdal's damning critique of the "separate but equal" doctrine played a large role in the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools. The book also contains solid economic reasoning. Myrdal, an egalitarian sympathetic to socialism, showed that Franklin Roosevelt's economic policies had badly hurt blacks. Myrdal singled out two New Deal policies in particular: restrictions on agricultural output and the minimum wage....


Paul Krugman


In 2008, U.S. economist Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Krugman, one of the best-known economists in the world, is familiar to the public mainly through his regular column in the New York Times and for his New York Times blog titled "The Conscience of a Liberal." Besides being an original theorist in international trade, economic geography, and macroeconomics, Krugman has been one of his generation's best expositors of good economics. His excellent book Pop Internationalism and his popular articles of the 1990s, many of them in the web publication Slate, make a strong case for free trade....