Divided: Open Borders and the Political Fracturing of Societies

Source: Cato Unbound
by Eric Kaufmann

“Benjamin Powell and Alex Nowrasteh advance a provocative thesis: that global welfare and economic freedom would be greatly enhanced if countries implemented an open borders policy. My contention is that the problem here is analogous to that highlighted by behavioral economists: that people are not rational economic utility-maximizing ‘econs,’ except in narrow spheres of life. Rather, they are multifaceted individuals shaped by evolutionary psychology and culture. Once we factor in this broader range of human motivation, the costs of an open borders policy rapidly mount, leading to sharp declines in human welfare and even economic freedom.” (07/21/21)