Research by economics professor Giovanni Peri cited in New York Times Magazine

When I was growing up in the 1980s, I watched my grandfather — my dad’s stepdad — struggle with his own prejudice. He was a blue-collar World War II veteran who loved his family above all things and was constantly afraid for them. He had no time for Hispanics, he told us, and he wasn’t backing down. After all, this wasn’t a matter of bigotry. It was plain economics. These immigrants were stealing jobs from “Americans.”

Economists have shifted to studying how nations so quickly adjust to new arrivals. The leading scholar on this today is Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, who has shown that immigrants tend to complement — rather than compete against — the existing work force. 

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