EDITORIAL: Migration and competitiveness: Japan and the United States

Philip L. Martin

Abstract


Japan and the United States, the world’s largest economies for most of the past half century, have very different immigration policies. Japan is the G7 economy most closed to immigrants, while the United States is the large economy most open to immigrants. Both Japan and the United States are debating how immigrants are and can con-tribute to the competitiveness of their economies in the 21st centuries. The papers in this special issue review the employment of and impacts of immigrants in some of the key sectors of the Japanese and US economies, including agriculture, health care, science and engineering, and construction and manufacturing. For example, in Japanese agriculture migrant trainees are a fixed cost to farmers during the three years they are in Japan, while US farmers who hire mostly unauthorized migrants hire and lay off workers as needed, making labour a variable cost.


Keywords


Immigration; migrant workers; labour migration; labour markets; USA; Japan

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