Question from an anonymous reader, reprinted with permission:

Hi Bryan,

First of all, I’d like to say that I really loved your new book Open Borders! It’s an amazing feat in terms of making a clear case, exploring many arguments and counter-arguments and presenting everything in a fun, engaging way.

I have one question for you. After having gone through all the literature for this book, where do you think additional research is more likely to have a high marginal return? If some graduate student wants to work on better understanding and quantifying the effects of migration and potentially opening the borders, what questions would you advise them to study?

My response:

Great question.  A few ideas:

1. Getting better measures of the causal effect of immigration on immigrant children’s cognitive development.

2. Getting bettermeasures of political beliefs of would-be immigrants.

3. Getting better measures of immigrant political (and other) assimilation.

4. Improving on NAS net fiscal effect measures.

5. Look at effect of immigration on long-run growth, by immigrant type.

6. Get more empirics on actually-existing keyhole solutions.

7. Get better data, including experimental data, on what would durably change natives’ minds about immigration.