Academy Evenings: Presentation explores shifts in global migration patterns and the effect on local economies

Contact: Jason A. Smith, communications director

MADISON—Today’s global economic crisis has turned a media spotlight on immigration. Sagging labor markets have led to calls for even tougher restrictions on potential competition from immigrant workers, and ballooning fiscal deficits have heightened fears about the added burden to welfare states. But do these actions reflect the reality on the ground? Will immigration to the United States increase or decline over the next few years? What can history tell us?

In his Academy Evenings presentation, Why Third World Migrants Will Disappear from the United States by 2050, Harvard University emeritus professor of economics Jeffrey G. Williamson will share historical research and new projections on U.S. immigration, highlighting a shift that is more African and less Latin American twenty years from now, and what this shift means for American culture and commerce in the years beyond.

Williamson’s Academy Evenings presentation, which is part of the Wisconsin Academy’s “Wisconsin 2050: Pioneering the Future” series, will be held May 11, 2010, from 7:00–8:30 pm at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art lecture hall in Overture Center for the Arts, 221 State Street. The presentation is free and open to the public Seating is first-come, first served.

Jeffrey G. Williamson is the Laird Bell Professor of Economics, emeritus, Harvard University, and Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin–Madison. Professor Williamson received his PhD from Stanford University in 1961, was a member of the UW–Madison faculty from 1963–1983 and the Harvard faculty from 1983–2008. He is now a Madison resident. The author of about 25 books and almost 200 scholarly articles in economic history, international economics and economic development, Williamson has served as President of the Economic History Association (1994–1995), Chairman of the Harvard Economics Department (1997–2000), and Master of Harvard’s Mather House (1986–1993). His most recent books are: Trade and Poverty Since 1750 (forthcoming); Globalization and the Poor Periphery Before 1950 (Michigan Institute of Technology, 2006); Global Migration and the World Economy (MIT, 2005, with T. Hatton); and Globalization in Historical Perspective (Chicago 2002, ed. with M. Bordo and A. Taylor). He has had visiting appointments at the Australian National University, Cambridge University, Carlos III University, University of Copenhagen, European University Institute, University of Groningen, Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Kiel Institute of World Economics, Osaka Gakuin University, University of the Philippines, Stanford University, and Stockholm School of Economics. Williamson also has had long associations with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Inter-American Development Bank as a visiting research fellow and consultant.

The Academy Evenings “Wisconsin 2050: Pioneering the Future” series is sponsored by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, University of Wisconsin–Madison, M&I Bank, the Evjue Foundation, and Isthmus Publishing Company.

About Academy Evenings

Academy Evenings engage the public in a wide variety of topics of public interest and feature Wisconsin’s leading thinkers, scholars, and artists. These free forums are intended to encourage public interaction with these leaders in an intimate atmosphere designed to foster discussion and build community. The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters sponsors Academy Evenings regularly in Overture Center for the Arts in Madison and at other venues across the state. For more information on Academy Evenings in your area, visit .