Is Illegality A Benefit?
By Bryan Caplan
One of the strangest claims I’ve heard is that employers prefer to hire illegal immigrants because they don’t have to pay them minimum wage or follow other labor market regulations. I can imagine this happening under special circumstances (e.g. everyone else on the worksite is illegal, too). But the key reason why illegal workers earn lower wages has to be that – from employers’ point of view – the risks and hassle of hiring illegal workers outweigh the regulatory burden of hiring legal workers. That’s why amnesty raises wages of formerly illegal workers.
Question: Have you ever heard of someone pretending to be illegal in order to get a job? (I do know of one case, but the job only lasted a day).