Daily Archives: 6 December 2005

Immigration and Job Growth

A new study by the Harvard Business School suggests links between immigration and job growth, reports Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

A major piece of conventional wisdom about immigrants – that newcomers take jobs away from native Americans – has been questioned in a new study of urban job growth by a Harvard Business School professor and expert on inner-city economics.

The study, in fact, seems to show just the opposite: Cities with higher concentrations of immigrants are the places where the number of jobs is growing the fastest.

The research by Michael E. Porter, founder of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, found that about half of the 80 largest inner cities in America had job growth between 1995 and 2003.

Inner cities that lost jobs and those that gained them tended to have similar percentages of minority residents, and their residents had about the same level of high school and college education.

But the two groups of cities differed sharply when it came to one demographic measure: immigration. Inner cities that gained jobs had populations that, on average, were 31 percent immigrant. Inner cities that lost jobs had populations that averaged just 12 percent immigrants.

“There is a direct correlation between immigrant populations and job growth in inner cities,” Porter writes. “Immigrants clearly and more readily identify the unique business conditions and opportunities that inner cities offer and are able to capitalize upon them. In addition, they are attractive to small and large businesses seeking willing and available labor.”

A crucial question left unanswered by Porter’s study is the extent to which immigrants cause job growth or are attracted by it. If the presence of immigrants in an economy leads to more business creation and job growth, then that is a very important finding. If immigrants are merely more likely to go to a place that already has a vibrant economy, then the connection between their presence and job growth is not as significant.

via RealClearPolitics

Well, let’s compare the records of Britain, Ireland, and Sweden with that of, say, France, as reported in the International Herald Tribune on 21 October 2005 (via the Dynamist).

It turns out the doomsayers were partly right: Nearly a year and a half after the expansion of the European Union, floods of East Europeans have washed into Britain.

Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and other Easterners are arriving at an average rate of 16,000 a month, a result of Britain’s decision to allow unlimited access to the citizens of the eight East European countries that joined the EU last year.

They work as bus drivers, farmhands and dentists, as waitresses, builders, and saleswomen; they are transforming parts of London into Slavic and Baltic enclaves where pickles and Polish beer are stacked in delicatessens and Polish can be heard on the streets almost as often as English.

But the doomsayers were also wrong: Multicultural Britain has absorbed these workers like a sponge. Unemployment is still rock-bottom at 4.7 percent, and economic growth continues apace.

Since May 2004, more than 230,000 East Europeans have registered to work in Britain, many more than the government expected, in what is shaping up to be one of the great migrations of recent decades.

Yet the government says it still has shortages of 600,000 workers in fields like nursing and construction.

“They are coming in and making a very good reputation as highly skilled, highly motivated workers,” said Christopher Thompson, a diplomat at the British Embassy in Warsaw. “The U.K. is pleased with the way it’s progressed over the first 16 months, and we’re confident it will be a beneficial relationship for both sides in the future.”

Tens of thousands of East Europeans have also moved to Ireland and Sweden, the only other West European countries that opened their labor markets to the new EU members….

Fearing a massive influx of East Europeans after enlargement, other West European countries threw up barriers that will be lowered only gradually over the next decade. A Pole seeking to work in France, for example, still needs to apply for a work permit. France issued 737 such permits to Poles in the 10 months after enlargement; that is the number of Poles who arrive in Britain every two days.

Allowing immigrants access to jobs and business opportunities seems to be key.

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Malaria Drugs Misused

The VOA reports:

Roughly 50 years ago, chloroquine and other quinine-derived drugs were extremely effective in treating malaria, a disease spread by the bite of mosquitos infected with the parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.

The illness causes extremely high fevers, bouts of chills, jaundice and severe anemia. Young children who contract malaria often die.

Chloroquine and mefloquine have since become ineffective against the parasite because of the misuse of chloroquine, but in the last decade or so, an effective, new drug [long used in China], called artemisinin, has come into use.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to use artemisinin in combination with other anti-malarials so it, too, does not lose its effectiveness.

But the warning isn’t being heeded, and a study published this week in the journal the Lancet found the first evidence of resistance to artemisinin in two African countries where the drug is readily available, according to researcher Ramon Jambou of the Pasteur Institute.

“In Senegal and in French Guiana, artemisinin was not used by the ministry. It just used by everyone but on markets and so on,” he explained.

Dr. Jambou and colleagues took blood samples from 530 patients in French Guiana, Senegal and Cambodia treated with different artemisinin-derived drugs. The samples were tested to measure the parasite’s sensitivity to artemisinin.

The researchers found no resistance in samples taken from Cambodia, which carefully controls the use of the drug. The parasite was less sensitive to the drug in Senegal, where artemisinin is somewhat restricted. Resistance to the drug was greatest in French Guiana, where it is readily available.

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Texas and Nigeria Evangelize Each Other

The Guardian, whose reporters are equally mystified by Higher Beings and Rural Beings, reports on a fair-play turnabout in missionary endeavors: Nigerian missionaries evangelizing rural Texans. I wonder if they would have used the same template to describe all those Southern Baptist missionaries, many (often the richest) of them Texans, who descended upon xenophobic Japan after World War II.

They say that God moves in mysterious ways, but perhaps never more so than when telling the leaders of Africa’s largest evangelical church to build their North American headquarters in Floyd….

The Nigerian church, founded in Lagos in 1952, paid about $1m (£580,000) for 198 hectares (490 acres) of pasture, on which it is planning to build cottages, a 10,000-seat amphitheatre, an artificial lake and possibly a modest waterpark, leading some to dub it a Christian Disneyland. At the moment the only structure is a large conference centre that last month hosted a meeting of more than 1,000 ministers and volunteers….

Ajibike Akinkoye, the regional church leader in Dallas, said that when he arrived in Texas more than 10 years ago a voice spoke to him. “The Lord … said ‘you are not going to build a megachurch church yet. You are going to plant little churches around the Dallas metroplex and then I will give you a camp.'” After a series of what he describes as miracles he was pointed towards Floyd. “God directed us there. Through him now we want to open up things that will be great and everlasting blessing to everybody.”

Mr Akinkoye said that before buying the land he had not known about the history of the area, where until recently the Ku Klux Klan had openly thrived. “It never crossed my mind there could be any opposition or danger,” he said. “But when people pointed that out it made me feel ‘thank God we are there’, because even if they are negative towards us, or violent, or kill one of us, that is not going to stop the work God wants us to do. We have no fear, because whatever happens it is God’s will.”

Judge Joe Bobbitt is everything you would expect a Texas judge to be: a walking giant with a crushing handshake, cowboy drawl and a ready smile. In his office at the courthouse two flags – the Stars and Stripes and the Lone Star of Texas – frame his desk. Continuing the stereotype, you might not expect him to have an entirely tolerate attitude towards outsiders taking over a patch of Texas land. But nothing could be further from the truth. “When they first came here I thought their plans were pie in the sky,” he said. “But I met with the head of their organisation from Nigeria and a gentleman from Dallas, and I’ve done my due diligence on this; there are no negative marks on this organisation.

“I did an internet search, and normally, you know, with an organisation this size, somebody, somewhere has something bad to say. But I haven’t been able to find any negative websites on these people. They’ve repaired the road, put in water and sewage and raised the value of that land for everybody. It’s going to be good for the community.”

via Danny Yee’s blog

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