Guestworker programs: Evidence from Europe and the United States and some implications for U.S. policy

Joshua S. Reichert, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mounting concern in the United States over increased illegal migration from Mexico during the past decade has generated a heated policy debate and led to a number of proposals as to how the U.S. government should deal with the problem. Among these has been a call for a temporary worker program similar to the U.S.-sponsored Bracero Program (1942-1964) in which over 4 million Mexican workers were recruited to perform temporary agricultural labor in the southwestern United States. This article considers the implications of such a program by examining the social and economic effects of previous guestworker programs in the United States and western Europe from the perspective of both sending and receiving societies. Particular attention is paid to the efficacy of these programs in promoting temporary as opposed to long-term immigration of foreign workers as well as their developmental impact on sending countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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