TED Conversations

Alex Tabarrok

George Mason University


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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.

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  • Jan 30 2012: Interesting points made here. Michio Kaku would go so far to say that the US study permit is the only thing preventing the US from an innovation meltdown. http://bigthink.com/ideas/19054 - I think the same goes for Canada except in the form of the PR Card and post graduation work permit. Still much more needs to be done while Canada and the US is still attractive to foreign students and professionals. The number one destination for Korean and Japanese graduate students today - is not the US, UK or Canada - It is China....

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