TED Conversations

Alex Tabarrok

George Mason University


This conversation is closed.

Can immigration increase innovation? If so, how?

The US economy is currently stagnating. To what extent could immigration improve (or not) the economy in the short run and what about increasing innovation in the long run? I offer some arguments in my TED e-book, Launching the Innovation Renaissance. I am interested, however, in what TEDsters have to say and in particular on their experiences as both employers, immigrants and competitors!

Jan. 30, 2012, 2:00pm EST/ 11:00am PST


Closing Statement from Alex Tabarrok

Lots of good ideas came up. What struck me most was the importance of maintaining flexible institutions such as a free and open economy and schooling open to all so that immigrants are able to rise and spread throughout society and do not become confined to particular places or professions.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 30 2012: If anything that I've seen in a recent study, immigration not only increases innovation but also creates more opportunities in the economy. The U.S is wrestling with illegal immigrants but whatever action it takes against them harms those who come lawfully to the country.

    It's no longer just about granting H1-B visas (I know those are already snapped up for Indians and other Asian citizens), but it's also allowing those who have stayed a set number of years more freedom and lessing of restrictions for them to thrive and innovate across any discipline of their passion.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.