UC Berkeley professor David Card will discuss economic theories on immigration tonight at UCSB’s Corwin Pavilion as part of the annual Carl Snyder memorial lecture series.
Snyder’s wife — a prominent civic leader — created the lecture series in honor of her husband in 1960 so prominent economists could visit Santa Barbara each year to address pressing fiscal issues. Card said his lecture will address the economic impacts of immigration, wages, education and health care on America’s low income demographics.
“[The series] is really to bring in an economist that is current and speaks to the masses,” Joan Giovannone, assistant to the Chair and Academic Personnel Specialist at the UCSB economics department, said. “All these people have something timely to say.”
Card served as a professor at Princeton University for 13 years and is the co-author and co-editor of several books and publications. Card’s research focuses on labor economics, including the ramifications of racial segregation, the fiscal impacts of immigration and the effects of medical insurance on heath care utilization.
“Fundamentally, I’m most interested in programs and policies that may help or hurt lower skilled or lower income people,” Card said.
Card said the lecture will address numerous contemporary topics.
“The economic analysis suggests that the pure labor market effects of immigration are pretty small,” Card said. “That is probably not the main reason that people who are opposed to immigration are opposed to it.”
According to Card, economic analysis suggests that people seem to oppose immigration based on generational differences. For example, older generations are much less likely to compete with immigrants for their jobs and also tend to oppose immigration more than their younger counterparts.
Card said immigration trends are emblematic of the United States’ recent shortcomings in education proficiency.
“It’s telling us something about our own country — that we’re not doing so well in producing highly skilled people,” Card said. “There’s a lot of talent out there in the world and those people are willing to come to the United States … but it’s hard to get an American student to get a Ph.D. in chemistry.”
Card said the lecture is not difficult to follow for those foreign to economics and encourages all members of the community to participate in the event.
“This is a public lecture,” Card said. “It’s more of an overview of things I’ve thought about over the past decade or so.”
Tonight’s lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion with a preceding reception at 5 p.m. in the Corwin East Room.