The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) has announced that this year’s IZA Prize in Labor Economics will be awarded to George J. Borjas of Harvard University and Barry R. Chiswick of George Washington University for their fundamental contributions to the economic analysis of migration and integration. The prestigious science award carries a cash prize of 50,000 euros (about $70,000). The award ceremony will be held in Oslo, Norway, on Aug. 25.
Borjas and Chiswick have pioneered the economic analysis of global migration and its impact on labor markets and social security systems. They have been the leading figures in the intense debate about earnings assimilation and the nature of migrant selectivity. Their research has made migration an important subdiscipline of economics with high policy relevance. For example, the prize winners have shown that the successful integration of immigrants depends on individual qualifications and language skills, but also requires an active integration policy that selects immigrants on the basis of labor market needs.
Borjas is the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Economics and Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He has been a consultant to the World Bank and various government agencies. His academic work provided a theoretical and empirical framework for analyzing the welfare effects and distributional consequences of immigration. His studies demonstrate the need for high-skilled immigration and a selective immigration policy.
The IZA Prize in Labor Economics has been awarded annually since 2002 for outstanding contributions to the field. It is regarded worldwide as the most prestigious science award in labor economics. Previous laureates include Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides, who later received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.