Labor economist Sarah Bohn, a 1999 Lawrence graduate, discusses the economic winners and losers associated with the Mexican immigrant workforce in the United States in the fourth installment of Lawrence University’s 2011 Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies “Latin America: Past, Present and Future.”

Sarah Bohn

Bohn, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, presents “Mexican Immigrants and the U.S. Economy” Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The roots of interdependence between Mexican workers and the U.S. economy can be traced to the railroad construction boom of the late 1800s. Those historic ties as well as political and economic developments along the way have created structural demand for Mexican immigrant labor in the U.S., producing winners and losers in the process.

With Mexican-born citizens accounting for nearly one-third of the U.S. immigrant population, Bohn will examine whether Mexican immigrants hurt the job prospects or decrease wages of American-born workers and whether employers really need immigrant workers. She also will address the impact of Mexican immigration on overall economic activity, on the prices we pay for goods and services and on social services like education and welfare.

Bohn joined the Public Policy Institute of California in 2007 after earning her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Maryland. As a PPIC research fellow, her expertise includes immigration and U.S. labor markets and labor market assimilation.

The “Latin America: Past, Present and Future” lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.