More Evidence That Immigrants Benefit The Tech Industry
from the drive dept
We've argued, along with many others, that it's a clear benefit to the overall economy and the tech industry in particular to have skilled and educated immigrant workers come over from abroad. Still, it's always nice to have some data to back this assertion up, just to ward off accusations of being a wild idealist. A new study published by Duke University finds that a full quarter of all tech startups between the years 1995-2005 had a immigrant either as a founder or key executive. These companies, it's estimated, employed a total of 450,000 workers, and had revenues of $52 billion. The mistake made by those who oppose immigration for economic reasons is that they think of the overall economic picture as being fixed. In other words, they look, say, at the number of jobs in existence today, and simply assume that if more people compete for them, then domestic workers will increasingly go unemployed, while overall wages will be depressed. But as studies like this show, there's nothing fixed about the economy. There's always room for new startups, while existing companies will hire more people, assuming that they're talented and can add value. As the researchers note, the process of immigration is inherently ambitious, and going through it is a sign of one's inclination to take risks. As more data like this becomes available, it's going to be an increasingly difficult argument to make that an intelligent and skilled immigrant workers somehow drag down the economy.