January, 2012

U.S. Immigration Policy in the 21st Century

A Market-Based Approach
  • Benjamin J. VanMetre

  • Joshua C. Hall

    Associate Professor, Department of Economics, West Virginia University
  • Richard K. Vedder

    Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus, Ohio University
Key materials
Contact us
To speak with a scholar or learn more on this topic, visit our contact page.

The United States has historically been a beacon of freedom and opportunity. Immigration is both a cause and a consequence of this reality. In recent years, however, policymakers and citizens have pushed to limit immigration to the United States. We argue that visas should not be allocated based on arbitrary political criteria but instead through the price system. Our proposal has several components but consists largely of creating an NASDAQ-style international market for visas. Ultimately, this approach would allow the invisible hand of the market to replace the politicized bureaucratic inefficiency of current immigration policy.  

Citation (Chicago Style).

Hall, Joshua C., Benjamin J. VanMetre, and Richard K. Vedder. 2012. "U.S. Immigration Policy in the 21st Century: A Market-Based Approach." The Cato Journal. Vol. 32, No. 1:201-220.