Immigration at the forefront in 2016-17 Sichel Series

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of lecture hall.

Series begins Sept. 21 with Dr. Steve Trejo on long-term socioeconomic integration of U.S. immigrant groups.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Just as the presidential race heats up over such questions as immigration, six experts will take a close look at that thorny issue in the coming months when they visit Western Michigan University as part of the 2016-17 Sichel Lecture Series.

This year's series carries the theme "Immigration Policy Today." Presentations are from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesdays in 2028 Brown Hall. They are open to the public free of charge and followed by a light lunch reception.

The series kicks off Sept. 21 with Dr. Steve Trejo, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin. His topic is "Socioeconomic Integration of U.S. Immigrant Groups Over the Long Term: The Second Generation and Beyond."


Trejo holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Chicago.

His research focuses on public policy issues involving labor markets, including overtime pay regulation, the experiences of immigrants and obstacles to the economic progress of minority groups. Much of his recent work analyzes patterns of socioeconomic mobility among the U.S.-born descendants of contemporary immigrant groups. One strand of his work explores how selective intermarriage and ethnic identification might bias assessments of intergenerational progress for Hispanics and Asians.

Trejo currently is coeditor for the Journal of Human Resources and deputy editor for Demography. He previously served as an associate editor for the Journal of Human Capital and on National Academy of Sciences panels to study immigrant integration, U.S. Hispanics and health insurance.

Upcoming talks

 Other dates, presenters and topics in this year's series are:

  • Sept. 28: Dr. Hillel Rapoport, professor of economics, Paris School of Economics, "Tradable Refugee-Admission Quotas and Matching: Combining Physical and Financial Solidarity in Asylum Policy."
  • Oct. 19: Dr. Daniel Chiquiar, general director of economic research, Banco de México, "Understanding Migration Policy with International Trade Theoretical Tools."
  • Nov. 30: Dr. Pia M. Orrenius, vice president and senior economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, "The Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Immigration: Implications for Policy."
  • April 5: Dr. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, professor and chair of the San Diego State University Department of Economics, "On the Implications of a Piecemeal Approach to Immigration Policy and Enforcement."
  • April 19: Dr. Giovanni Peri, professor and chair of the University of California, Davis, Department of Economics, "The Great Economic Potential of Immigration to the U.S."

About the series

The Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of Dr. Werner Sichel, a longtime WMU economics professor and former department chair, who retired in 2004. The series is cosponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Trejo's presentation also is sponsored by the Light Center for Chinese Studies. The lectures are open to the public and formatted with the general public in mind.

This year's series is being organized by Dr. Susan Pozo, WMU professor of economics.

For more information, contact Pozo at (269) 387-5553 or

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