In the run-up to the September 27th vote on the free movement of persons, the Swiss People’s Party (SVP/UDC) is promoting a London study claiming that “free movement agreements undermine prosperity”. Free movement would have led to a drop in per capita income in Switzerland of 4.4%. This result contradicts several studies which consistently and robustly reached opposite results. To understand how this is possible, E4S brought together two specialists on the subject: Jennifer Hunt and Rafael Lalive, respectively professors at Rutgers University (New Jersey) and the University of Lausanne.
Jennifer Hunt is a world-renowned expert on the impact of immigration on the economy. She has co-authored a comprehensive study on the subject commissioned by the American Academy of Sciences. Rafael Lalive is a member of E4S’s platform “Shaping the future of work” and an expert of labor market policy and social economics.
Jennifer Hunt and Rafael Lalive commented on the following questions:
What is the impact of immigration on the economy?
What credibility should be granted the London study promoted by the UDC?
What are the mechanisms by which immigration can be expected to increase a country’s wealth?
Do immigrants take the jobs of Swiss citizens?